It was no pleasure for Willie Mullins’ star Vauban in Australia as With out A Struggle stormed dwelling to finish a big-race double within the Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
The Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained runner received the Caulfield Cup on his earlier run and adopted up in fashion below Mark Zahra within the two-mile Group One.
Beforehand skilled by Simon and Ed Crisford, With out A Struggle completed thirteenth within the Melbourne Cup final yr, however 12 months on, he was a clear-cut victor.
The Willie Mullins-trained Vauban was despatched off favorite for the race and Ryan Moore appeared to have bagged a pleasant place on the within rail, settling in fifth place as Serpentine – winner of the 2020 Derby however now skilled in Australia – got down to make all.
Hollie Doyle, who was making her Melbourne Cup debut, raced prominently aboard Future Historical past, however straightening up for dwelling, the early pacesetters had been beginning to really feel their efforts.
Ryan Moore switched Vauban out to problem and he briefly appeared to get his head in entrance two furlongs from dwelling, just for his stablemate Absurde to swoop round his exterior and seize the initiative.
Nevertheless, Zahra was stoking up With out A Struggle down the center of the observe and he hit the entrance a furlong out, pretty sprinting dwelling to drag away from one other former British runner Soulcombe in second and Sheraz in third.
With out A Struggle was the primary horse since Ethereal in 2001 to finish the Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double, whereas Zahra is the primary rider since Harry White in 1978 and 1979 to win successive Melbourne Cups on completely different horses having partnered Gold Journey final yr.
“I believed the most important opposition was my horse himself for being too eager,” Zahra mentioned.
“Popping out the limitations chilly, he is a horse that settles significantly better on the fence, tucked away with all of the horses round him, so I obtained him to the fence and he went to sleep right away. I used to be following three nice jockeys in Damien Oliver, James McDonald and Ryan Moore.
“It is all about plotting the precise path and I obtained to the place I need to be. Final yr I obtained a scare on the 200 (metre mark), on the 400 (this yr) I believed I am simply dwelling right here.”
Zahra, who opted to trip With out A Struggle over eventual seventeenth Gold Journey, mentioned he felt in nice form and took a relaxed strategy to the race.
He added: “I obtained it proper for the Caulfield Cup and I’ve tried to maintain it since then… you do not need to take into consideration the race an excessive amount of, however you additionally should do a little bit of homework.”
Sam Freedman mentioned he was Positive going into the Melbourne Cup after With out A Struggle’s efficiency within the Caulfield Cup.
“I used to be fairly assured. He really had a greater lead-up to this race then he did for the Caulfield Cup,” he mentioned.
“Mark did not know this however his lead-up was not excellent going into it so when he received it was an actual form of, this horse may be one thing fairly freakish.”
It was Freedman’s first Melbourne Cup win, coaching the horse alongside his father Anthony. He’s the nephew to Lee Freedman who skilled three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva.
“It is fairly particular, my nice, nice, nice grandfather was a jockey and we progressively obtained a bit taller from there, he received three Melbourne Cups after which Lee clearly has received 5, so it was good to win one,” he added.