Autumn preparations for the Chris Waller-trained Sydney Cup 2015 hope Who Shot Thebarman are heating up following a solid trial at Warwick Farm on Tuesday morning.
The Yamanin Vital six-year-old was last seen putting in a top staying effort after battling away over the two miles at Flemington on November 4 to run third behind European visitors Protectionist (1st) and Red Cadeaux (2nd) in the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Who Shot Thebarman boasted a previous win over the distance when prepared in New Zealand where he won six of his opening nine career runs including the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie in March last year.
He was bought over to Australia after that and 18 days later contested the Sydney Cup at Royal Randwick last April.
Jockey James McDonald, also formerly from New Zealand, settled him off the pace in fifth but the horse was under lots of pressure by the turn.
He put in a fairly flat run to the line on the straight eventually finishing a distant ninth to the Gai Waterhouse-trained winner The Offer.
His spring campaign with Waller was then a lot stronger and included an impressive two and a half length win in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2400m) and his Melbourne Cup third that atoned for a 13th in the Caulfield Cup the run before when suffering from respiratory issues.
Yesterday morning at Warwick Farm jockey Blake Shinn, who also rode Waller’s Randwick Guineas hope Kermadec in the following trial, was aboard Who Shot Thebarman for his 808m hit-out.
The last 12 trials were cancelled due to the heavy rain and mud track.
I’m All The Talk best handled the Heavy (10) course in the fourth trial winning by nearly five lengths over Va Pensiero while Waller’s trio ran home in the final three spots with Arinosa (seventh), Who Shot Thebarman (eighth) and French import He’s Your Man (ninth).
Shinn was still pleased with what Who Shot Thebarman showed him, the horse tipped for a big autumn with feature races in both Melbourne and Sydney on the agenda.
“He showed plenty of enthusiasm and gave me a great feel,” Shinn said.
An early aim could see him return to Flemington Racecourse on Super Saturday, March 14, for the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m).
Sixty-nine stayers were nominated for the 2015 Australian Cup this week including Who Shot Thebarman and 10 others for Waller.
Sydney also calls the Kiwi expat this autumn including his second run in the $1.6 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) that is set to take place on April 11 this year.
Who Shot Thebarman currently shares top spot in the all-in Sydney Cup futures markets at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $7 to win along with Darren Weir’s Melbourne Cup fourth placegetter Signoff.
Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist and runner-up Red Cadeaux then following in the Sydney Cup odds at $9.
To check out the full Sydney Cup 2015 betting odds and back your early selections for the autumn staying classic before markets firm over the coming months, visit Ladbrokes.com.au.
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