The John Wallace-trained Shoot Out is the sole Queenslander accepted for this Saturday’s Doomben Cup, last year’s AJC Derby winner ready to reproduce their Group 1 winning form for the Maroons.
Yesterday a final field of 10 quality gallopers were announced for the $500,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2020m) and Gold Coast-based horseman Wallace is confident Shoot Out will keep the winning trophy in the sunshine state after the High Chaparral four-year-old drew ideally in barrier three.
Shoot Out was in career best form in the autumn of last year when the emerging stayer scored dual Group 1 wins during the Sydney Carnival saluting in both the Randwick Guineas and AJC Australian Derby.
After a three month spell, Wallace bought Shoot Out back for a stint at the Melbourne features and Shoot Out again came out on top in his opening two winter starts winning the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 JJ Liston Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield back-to-back.
A number of minor placings, including their third to veteran Zipping in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) last October, were to follow but as yet Shoot Out has not been able to win since August of 2010.
Wallace, however, holds high hopes that Saturday will see the re-emergence of Shoot Out in the winner’s stall after he weighed the gelding and found him to be near the same ideal mass he was for his AJC Derby success.
“He was 508 kilos when he won the Derby and he’s 510 kilos now,” Wallace said.
Shoot Out currently sits on the third line of Doomben Cup betting at $5.50 behind European imports Glass Harmonium ($3.80) and Chris Waller’s My Kingdom Of Fife ($4).
Last start the horse from Queensland’s ‘Glitter Strip’ finished just over a length away fifth behind My Kingdom Of Fife in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at their home track and Wallace was impressed with the run.
Wallace is also over the moon with the gate three start on Saturday for Shoot Out, his horse drawn inside of the favourites with Glass Harmonium in four and My Kingdom Of Fife in five.
“The barrier is perfect,” Wallace said.
“He’s done well since the Hollindale and his work on Tuesday was the best he’s done this time in.
“He’s fit and very close to the same form he was in before he won the Derby in Sydney last year.”
Although beaten by many of the same rivals he will face in the Doomben Cup in the Hollindale, Wallace said it was important to remember that was only his third race in this year and that Shoot Out was disappointed for a run last start.
“I thought he was a bit unlucky in the Hollindale,” Wallace said.
“He missed a couple of runs and Scenic Shot (third) pushed him out a couple of times.”
Wallace said the key to Doomben Cup success for Shoot Out would be a nice solid pace and the change from blinkers to winkers in his gear.
“My bloke will go very close but I’d like some speed in the race,” he said.
“Shadows In The Sun could be the one to lead.
“He led the day he won the South Australian Derby.”
The Anthony Cummings-trained Shadows In The Sun has drawn on the rails with barrier one making him a likely frontrunner.
Despite the Dane Shadow three-year-old’s last-start win in the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) at Morphettville, Shadows In The Son is rated a $31 outsider in the Doomben Cup markets.
Following the Doomben Cup this weekend, Wallace intends to start his stable star in the Group 2 BRC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm on June 4 before giving Shoot Out a spell ahead of a Melbourne Spring Carnival campaign.
There’s also been news of an overseas mission for Shoot Out targeting the Hong Kong features in December, but Wallace said he hadn’t discussed the idea with owners Graham and Linda Huddy.
“I haven’t even thought about Hong Kong,” Wallace admitted.
“I don’t know where that’s come from.”