Channel 7 has come under fire for airing live horse racing coverage on Tuesday, leading viewers to believe they had the rights to show the Melbourne Cup. The network showed horse races from NSW and Queensland live on air but only Channel 10 had the free-to-air rights to show the great race.
It was the fact Channel 7 showed 'The Big Dance', the feature meeting from Randwick, and spoke at length about the upcoming Melbourne Cup that led viewers to believe that come 3pm they would be shown the race that stops the nation.
'BACK TO BACK': Without a Fight wins Melbourne Cup under Mark Zahra
'VERY HARD': Michelle Payne in sad development for Melbourne Cup
This is the last year the rights will be with Network 10 after ratings plummeted after taking over the coverage of the Melbourne Cup. Channel Nine is set to broadcast the race from 2024, with Seven withdrawing.
After missing the 3200m race, punters took to social media to voice their fury at Channel 7. Casual viewers slammed the network for its "sneaky" tactics and said covering other race meetings without the iconic Flemington venue on Cup day "should be illegal".
— MPhili (@402Meow) November 7, 2023
Did anyone else completely miss #melbournecup2023 because you assumed it was on Channel 7?!? 😅
— Amy Stroud ❤️ (@amy_stroud) November 7, 2023
All about greed. It used to be a huge build up to the actual race but now there are so many big race meets being televised all at the same time. Nice work channel 7 you've destroyed the once awesome Melbourne cup coverage!!
— ree hogan (@heareenow) November 7, 2023
What a joke @Channel7, be clearer that you’re not showing the cup race.
— Matt Milenkovic (@MilenkovicMatt) November 7, 2023
yep missed it and most people i know did aswell, waiting for an apology from @Channel7
— Alessandro Lo presti (@Alessan96435272) November 7, 2023
I wonder how many people get fooled in watching Channel 7 thinking the #MelbourneCup will be on it with its 'day of racing' and then oh wait, it's already run.....
— PlanetB (@ThePubTest7) November 7, 2023
we were on channel 7 horse racing 🤦♂️
— Jessa Laws (@FleyasHolsteins) November 7, 2023
I normally watch the race on tv but I was on the wrong channel! I was on channel 7 instead of channel 10!
— Mary Martell (@MusicMelbMary93) November 7, 2023
Mark Zahra wins second straight Melbourne Cup
Jockey Mark Zahra won his second successive Melbourne Cup after storming home to clinch victory on Without a Fight in front of tens of thousands of fans at Flemington on Tuesday. It was a special piece of history for the Aussie jockey, whose decision to turn down the ride on last year's winner Gold Trip paid dividends. Without a Fight crossed the line first ahead of Soulcombe and Sheraz.
Vauban - with jockey Ryan Moore on board - went into the big race as the favourite, with plenty of late money coming in for stablemate Absurde. The Zac Purton-jockeyed horse started the day at $21 but saw a dramatic plunge into single-figure odds before the start of the race.
Gold Trip was hoping to go back-to-back after taking out last year's race for trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace. However, Zahra opted to take the ride on Without a Fight this year and was vindicated as the jockey delivered for trainer Anthony Freedman.
"Unbelievable," Zahra said after the win. "If I could have thought I’d have that run from 16, I would have said he’s unbeatable, but Sam and Lee and all their team, he was a gentleman for me today.
"He went to rail and switched off, and probably got to the front earlier than last year." Zahra said it was a tough decision to choose to turn down a run on last year's winner Gold Trip but said felt he was fated to ride Without a Fight in this year's race.
"Look, a good friend and someone I rate as one of the best judges in Australia... I spoke to him, and he said there’s not much in it, but if you can get him to settle, he will run it," Zahra added. "We went through the race and the weather forecast, the stars aligned for Gold Trip last year and aligned for this horse this year. Just a few things and the way he won the Caulfield Cup, I was confident he would run it."
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