- Without A Fight won the 2023 Caulfield Cup after a thrilling final
- Mark Zahra steered Irish stayer to victory ahead of West Wind Blows
- Punters headed to the Melbourne track ahead of the first race at 12.15pm.
Without A Fight was the name on everyone’s lips after winning the 2023 Caulfield Cup in thrilling fashion over 2400m on Saturday.
Mark Zahra rode the Irish gelding, an $8.50 chance with the bookmakers, to perfection, holding off a fast West Wind Blows ($2.20), pre-race favorite Gold Trip ($2.40 ) crossing the finish line in third place.
“What a moment, I’m so happy,” a jubilant Zahra told Channel Seven after the race.
“I don’t really celebrate much, but with the week I’ve had, some things have happened.
“My wife kicked me (in the butt) this week and told me to focus on the ride you have, it’s a good chance.”
This came after Connections opted for rival hoops Ben Melham to ride Gold Trip, as opposed to a broken Zahra, who well and truly had the last laugh.
Mark Zahra delivered when it counted on the big stage, guiding Without A Fight to victory in the Caulfield Cup on Saturday.
Zahra rode the Irish gelding to perfection, holding off a West Wind Blows ($2.20), with pre-race favorite Gold Trip ($2.40) crossing the line in third place.
Zahra holds up the Caulfield Cup trophy after a race he won’t soon forget
Eager punters (pictured) crowded the track ahead of the first race at Caulfield from 12.15pm.
Champion jockey Damien Oliver takes part in his final spring carnival after recently announcing he will retire from the sport in December (pictured left, with his family)
The punters looked sharp, with a number of them attracting attention with their trackside dress sense (pictured).
The crowd grew by the hour as anticipation grew for the Group 1 race.
Punters of all ages mingled on Saturday, with the Spring Carnival clearly in full swing (pictured)
AFL legend turned radio identity Brendan Fevola (pictured left) had some fun in the VIP section alongside his wife Alex
As the afternoon progressed, some punters became more animated at the trackside (photo)
The Group 1 Caulfield Cup, first held in 1879, is a time-honored race that many Australian racing fans eagerly put on their sporting calendar.
And with $3 million in prize money awaiting the winner, elite figures from the sport of kings were spotted in every direction as they appeared to be etched into the history books.
With the Spring Carnival officially in full swing, enthusiastic punters gathered on the track ahead of the first race at 12:15 p.m., where Japanese pre-race favorite Brave Mead took a bow in front of Gai Waterhouse-trained instructor .
Veteran jockey Damien Oliver, who recently announced he would retire from the sport in December, was a popular winner of the fourth race aboard Arkansaw Kid.
As the day progressed, drinks flowed freely in some areas as punters let their hair down and enjoyed a day at the trackside.
A number of celebrities have been spotted in the VIP sections, including model Bec Judd, AFL legend Brendan Fevola as well as comedian/TV presenter Andy Lee.