- Zahra joked that he was still drunk
- Jockey said he will continue to ‘punch on’
- Said it’s ‘amazing’ to win Cup twice
Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Mark Zahra has had a huge night celebrating a famous Melbourne Cup victory – but has jokingly revealed why he not suffering from a hangover.
Zahra has claimed back-to-back Melbourne Cups, piloting Without A Fight to win the Australia’s most famous horse race at Flemington on Tuesday.
The stunning win completed the Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double for Without A Fight, who finished 13th in the Cup last season, transferring stables to Victorian trainers Anthony and Sam Freedman soon after.
The win kickstarted a party on Tuesday afternoon that would surely leave some sore heads in its wake – but Zahra says he’s feeling fine.
Speaking to Seven’s Sunrise on Wednesday morning, the bleary-eyed jockey was asked how his head was and if he had had any sleep.
Mark Zahra has joked that he’s still drunk after a famous win in the Melbourne Cup
‘If you never sober up, your heads alright,’ joked Zahra. ‘So I’ll continue to punch on.’
The Victorian became the first jockey since Glen Boss on Makybe Diva to win back to back Melbourne Cups.
‘It’s a different sort of feeling to when you win it the first time,’ he said.
‘It’s a little bit more subdued, but it’s still an amazing feeling.’
‘(Racing) is (brutal) majority of the year. It’s all fun and games when you win a Melbourne Cup and you drink champagne for 24 hours, but the rest of the year it’s pretty hard.’
Zahra had the choice before the race to ride Without A Fight or Gold Trip – and according to the jockey it wasn’t an easy one to make.
‘It was a very hard decision. I’m a little bit emotionally attached to Gold Trip,’ he said.
‘When you win a Melbourne Cup on a horse – especially your first Melbourne Cup – the horse takes a place in your heart for the rest of your life…’
‘The weather was forecast for a firm track, which Without a Fight loves and Gold Trip doesn’t – and obviously I won the Caulfield Cup on this horse.’
The win completed the Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double for Without A Fight
The Aussie jockey said it felt ‘amazing’ to win the famous race twice
After the race was over Zahra acknowledged he let his excitement get to him with his two-fingered celebration.
‘Giving the two fingers [signal] for two winners. I don’t know what I was thinking. Idiot!’ he said.
Without A Fight firmed as a Cup contender after storming home to claim the Caulfield Cup last month.
No horse since 2001 had achieved the Melbourne-Caulfield Cup double, when Ethereal claimed both.