Without A Fight rises in the weights for the Lexus Melbourne Cup

23 October 2023 Written by Racing Victoria

Carlton Draught Caulfield Cup (2400m) hero Without A Fight has been penalised one kilogram and will now carry 56.5kg in the $8.4 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) as he bids to become the 12th horse in history to complete the cups double.

The imported stayer received the weight penalty after his tenacious win in the $5.15 million Caulfield Cup last Saturday, when he carried 55.5kg to victory for the father-and-son training team of Anthony and Sam Freedman. 

The weight penalty is the same as that allocated to Japanese raider Mer De Glace, who won the 2019 Caulfield Cup before finishing sixth with 56kg in the Melbourne Cup. It is also the same penalty given to Caulfield Cup winners Viewed (2009), Dunaden (2012), Mongolian Khan (2015) and Boom Time (2017). 

“Without A Fight was most impressive on Saturday,” said David Hegan, Racing Victoria’s (RV) Head of Handicapping. 

“Under the genuinely testing speed of the race, producing a fast winning time of 2.26.45, he was simply too strong for his rivals in the finish and won coming away. 

“No horse hit the line any better than Without A Fight, so the performance warrants a 1kg penalty. The 2kg differential between him and Caulfield Cup placegetter Gold Trip now puts them on the same terms as in last year’s Melbourne Cup, when Without A Fight carried 55.5kg in finishing 13th behind Gold Trip, who won with 57.5kg on his back.

“Without A Fight went to another level with his win, so a penalty was required but it also takes into account the fact that the Melbourne Cup presents a different challenge altogether given the opposition – both local and international – and the extra staying test of 3200m.”

Without A Fight will not meet the Caulfield Cup runner-up West Wind Blows (trained by Simon and Ed Crisford) at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November, as the international raider was not amongst the second acceptances for the Melbourne Cup. 

Without A Fight will aim to become the 12th horse to seal the Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double, with Ethereal the last horse to achieve the feat in 2001. Should Without A Fight prevail in ‘the race that stops a nation’, it would represent the most weight carried to victory by a cups double winner since Galilee carried 56.7kg (or 8 stone 13 ounces) in 1966.

Third acceptances for the Melbourne Cup will be taken at 10am (AEDT) next Monday (30 October). To view the updated Order of Entry for the Melbourne Cup, please click here