- Without A Fight won 2023 Melbourne Cup, ridden by Mark Zahra
- Soulcombe a valiant second, Shiraz surprised to finish third
- Zahra also won the Cup on board Gold Trip at Flemington last year
- After failing to finish, Right You Are finished a distant last
Talented gelding Without A Fight has won the 2023 Melbourne Cup after he stormed to victory at Flemington.
The recent Caulfield Cup winner cruised home by two lengths, finishing ahead of a gallant Soulcombe, with Sheraz claiming third spot over the 3200m journey.
Remarkably, it was jockey Mark Zahra’s second successive Cup triumph, after he saluted on Gold Trip 12 months ago.
‘Unbelievable,’ a jubilant Zahra said post race.
‘He was a gentleman for me today. Went to the rail and switched off and probably got to the front earlier than last year.
‘In front of him was Gold Trip and Vauban. I thought I’d stay here. They all made their moves and it opened up for me.
Without A Fight won the 2023 Melbourne Cup after he stormed to victory at Flemington (pictured, elated jockey Mark Zahra)
Remarkably, it was Mark Zahra’s second successive Cup triumph, after he saluted on Gold Trip 12 months ago
Given the prizemoney was $4.4million for the winner, hoop Mark Zahra had every reason to smile (pictured)
‘I was on a horse you can sit on. He’s got an electric turn of foot and he pulled me all the way to the line.’
Here is where the rest of the field finished in the race that stops a nation, starting with Ashrun in fourth place.
5th: Daqiansweet Junior
Super run from the 2022 Adelaide Cup winner.
Great effort to finish in the top six from the last start winner in the Bendigo Cup.
Firmed in significantly on Cup day, couldn’t get a clear run. An opportunity missed.
8th: True Marvel
Did exceptionally well to snare a top 10 placing.
9th: Vow And Declare
2019 Melbourne Cup winner showed his old legs can still hold their own.
Decorated trainer Gai Waterhouse would have expected a better showing from Military Mission
Melbourne Cup favourite Vauban finished in 14th, leaving many punters searching for answers
10th: Military Mission
Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott trained stayer would have hoped to finish higher.
11th: Okita Soushi
After a poor run in the Caulfield Cup, took his shot at redemption.
12th: More Felons
Was previously named Scriptwriter – but he couldn’t perform a miracle at Flemington even with the talented Jamie Kah in the saddle.
Barrier 21 wasn’t ideal, master jockey Craig Williams couldn’t conjure a miracle.
Where do we even start? Some big punters will be wincing reading this. Heavily backed pre-race favourite went missing.
15th: Future History
Won the Group 3 Bart Cummings at Flemington a month ago which warranted automatic entry into the Cup. This level was beyond his ability.
Japanese starter whose connections will be feeling deflated.
17th: Gold Trip
Last year’s winner couldn’t repeat the dose.
James McDonald has dominated the Spring Carnival – but couldn’t get Gold Trip to go back to back in the race that stops a nation
18th: Virtuous Circle
Rank outsider was effectively making up the numbers.
Dictated the pace early, faded badly as was expected.
Also gave once-a-year punters hope with a bold run, eventually finished where many experts thought he would.
No Cup fairytale for the departing Damien Oliver.
22nd: Magical Lagoon
Jockey Mark Du Plessis felt he may be outclassed, proved to be the case.
23rd: Right You Are (failed to finish).
MELBOURNE CUP 2023 RESULTS:
1. Without A Fight ($9.30 win, $3.30 place)
2. Soulcombe ($3.40 place)
3. Sheraz ($19.90 place)
5. Daqiansweet Junior
8. True Marvel
9. Vow And Declare
10. Military Mission
11. Okita Soushi
12. More Felons
15. Future History
17. Gold Trip
18. Virtuous Circle
22. Magical Lagoon
23. Right You Are (failed to finish)