Without A Fight wins Melbourne Cup

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Mark Zahra riding Without a Fight

Without A Fight has won Australia’s famous Melbourne Cup horse race, giving jockey Mark Zahra back-to-back victories.

It is the first win, however, for Australian father-son training duo Anthony and Sam Freedman.

Second in the two-mile contest was Soulcombe and third was Sheraz, both trained by Australian Chris Waller.

Without A Fight is the first horse in over two decades to win the Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup in the same year.

Zahra rode Gold Trip to victory at Flemington Racecourse last year, but switched horses for this year’s race.

Speaking after his win on Tuesday, Zahra said it had been a tough decision to swap runners but the “stars aligned” for him.

“A good friend and someone I rate as one of the best judges in Australia, I spoke to him, and he said there’s not much in it [between Gold Trip and Without A Fight], but if you can get him to settle he will run it,” he told local broadcaster Channel 10.

“He’s got an electric turn of foot and he pulled me all the way to the line.”

Gold Trip finished 17th on Tuesday, with other favourites like Vauban and former winner Vow and Declare finishing 14th and 9th respectively.

Trainer Sam Freedman was also full of praise for Without A Fight.

“This horse just genuinely loves his work,” he told local media.

Tens of thousands of people were trackside at Flemington for the event, graced by warm spring weather.

The Melbourne Cup is worth A$8m (£4.5m) and is often called “the race that stops a nation”.

But in recent years it has attracted demonstrations over the welfare of animals and its links to gambling.

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