After claiming the Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup first-up last start, Without A Fight has given his rivals a galloping lesson second-up in the Group 2 The Q22 at Eagle Farm on Saturday, letting down with his customary turn of foot to claim victory over Nonconformist and Duais.
The six-year-old gelded son of Teofilo was sent over to Australia in November to race in the 2022 Melbourne Cup, but as we all saw, he finished a lacklustre 13th before being transferred to the Anthony & Sam Freedman stable for his second Australian campaign.
Since returning to the racetrack in Queensland, Without A Fight has been outstanding, claiming the Lord Mayor’s Cup in a canter before proving way too good in The Q22, signalling his claims at a Victorian Spring Carnival tilt at the Cups.
As usual, Serpentine set a strong tempo out in front with Kolding, before he got the better of his co-leader and put up three or four lengths on the rest of the field; however, this set the race up for the race winner, Nonconformist and Duais to charge home from the back.
There wasn’t a lack of money for the winner, as he opened earlier in the week as the clear favourite, and he held favouritism throughout betting to jump as a clear $2.80 favourite with online bookmakers.
2023 The Q22 Replay – Without A Fight
Anthony and Sam Freedman trained their first winner on Stradbroke Handicap Day, and Anthony spoke post-race about the big win in The Q22.
“He ran in the Melbourne Cup, it was a bit too soft for him. He had some issues post-race which prevented him from racing again,” Freedman said.
“He went and had some surgery and he’s come back really well for it. Previously he was on-pace but we’ve turned that around.
“He looks like he’s got a bright future. He’ll have a spell, go home and we’ll see how he goes in the spring.
“He’ll have up to a month off and then probably look at the Caulfield Cup and see where we end up.”
Mark Zahra has ridden two winners at Eagle Farm so far, after claiming the opening winner with Namesake.
“He pulled quite hard but it was a great win. He pulled most of the way and it took me a while to try and get him,” Zahra said.
“I had to go for another hold there at the 1200 (metre mark) and I thought I better start creeping into this because I might have pulled the finish out of him but it didn’t. Extraordinary win.
“Anthony and Sam have him flying.
“They’ve been patient with him and they haven’t run him until he’s right.”