Cups winner Without a Fight out of the Autumn

Anthony and Sam Freedman have been dealt a blow with stable star Without A Fight ruled out of the Autumn, with the reigning Melbourne Cup winner to require rehabilitation on a minor tendon strain.

In a post made by Freedman Racing on social media, the stable said “this development is disappointing for everyone involved in Freedman Racing and for his owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid al Maktoum. We will now turn our efforts to providing the best care available to ensure he makes a full recovery and returns to racing in 2024.”

“He just presented as they do with a touch of filling, not even lame, we just decided to check on it and sure enough there was a bit of damage there. We’ll rehab it and get him back,” Sam Freedman said.

Without A Fight made history when becoming the last horse since Ethereal in 2001 to complete the Caulfield/Melbourne Cup double with stirring back-to-back victories over the Spring Carnival.

The six-year-old gelding was potentially being aimed at the Australian Cup at Flemington in March but will spend part of his Summer with renowned horse rehabilitation specialist Lee Everson.

The stable hasn’t confirmed whether Without A Fight is likely to be set for a Melbourne Cup defence and attempt to become the first horse since Makybe Diva to win multiple Cups, but Sam Freedman did suggest another of the Melbourne Spring majors could be the target.

“I think history says you’re better off missing that Autumn and heading into the Spring anyway so we’ll be looking to get to the Spring and whether he’s not able to get a full campaign to a Melbourne Cup, we’ll just have to wait and see, but we did flag that the Cox Plate was a possibility and it might be a slightly easier way to go given he’s likely to kick off his prep a little bit later on.”

The last horse to win a Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate was Might And Power in 1997/98 with Rising Fast in 1954 the only horse in history to have achieved that feat in one year.

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