The 2014 Melbourne Cup dream is still alive for Chris Waller’s Auckland Cup winning galloper Who Shot Thebarman after the Kiwi import scored a tidy win at Flemington over the weekend.
The six-year-old son of Yamanin Vital enjoyed his maiden win down under since joining Waller’s four-time Sydney premiership winning stables in the autumn.
His last run back home was a length win in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) before connections brought the stayer down under for a shot at the Group 1 Sydney Cup over the same distance at Randwick in the April.
He could only manage to run ninth when under pressure and flat on the straight, beaten nearly 13 lengths by Gai Waterhouse’s current Melbourne Cup favourite The Offer.
Waller though still has the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November in his sights after Who Shot Thebarman broke his maiden status in Australia at the same track on Saturday.
Three runs into his spring campaign the gelding improved dramatically when up in distance on a firm track carrying 60kg to a two and a half length win over Jacquinot Bay in the $100,000 Sofitel Girls’ Day Out Handicap (2000m).
It was a performance that impressed jockey triple Melbourne Cup winning jockey Glen Boss who was pleased with the way the former New Zealander finished off the race.
“I thought it was very impressive,” he told media post-win on Saturday.
“Especially the last 100 meters. He was getting away from them with every bound and there was some quality opposition.”
Also impressed was Waller’s Melbourne stable foreman Justine Hales who confirmed they would stick on the Spring Cups path.
“He was very impressive the way he let down with a big weight,” Hales said according to the Herald Sun.
“He came over as an Auckland Cup winner so he’s a smart stayer.”
The Makybe Diva Stakes Day winner is also nominated for the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) in Sydney on October 4 and the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in Melbourne two weeks later.
In futures The Metropolitan betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au Who Shot Thebarman is a top fancy paying $13 in markets led by Makybe Diva’s three-quarter sister La Amistad ($7) and another Waller-trained stayer He’s Your Man ($8).
French import He’s Your Man surged to the top of The Metropolitan odds after a barnstorming one and a quarter length victory in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) on Golden Slipper Day over the weekend in Sydney.
La Amistad was the beaten $3.70 favourite in that same race finishing four and a quarter off the winner with improvement expected when the impeccably bred Redoute’s Choice mare is stepped up in distance.
Who Shot Thebarman meanwhile is a $34 chance in Caulfield Cup odds at Ladbrokes and pays $41 to win the Melbourne Cup on November 4.
He’s currently 48th on the Caulfield Cup ballot order and is allocated just 51.5kg but cannot earn a penalty for his weekend win.
The 2014 Melbourne Cup weights are due out on Tuesday with Who Shot Thebarman expected to be handicapped similarly.
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