Jockey Blake Shinn partnered Viewed to success in the 2008 edition of the Race That Stops a Nation, and is confident all signs points towards talented Kiwi import Who Shot Thebarman being crowned 2015 Melbourne Cup winner this afternoon.
Who Shot Thebarman is yet to hit peak condition through four starts this time but has an excellent record over two miles; charging home to win the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) in early 2014 before running on for an impressive third in the Melbourne Cup in November.
Shinn is thrilled to have retained the ride on the talented son of Yamanin Vital for this afternoon’s feature race and is confident his proven ability at the distance will be priceless amongst the capacity field of twenty-four.
“I think he’s in with a great chance,” Shinn told AAP.
“I thought his Caulfield Cup run had a lot of merit, he’s looking for the 3200 metres tomorrow and the barrier (six) is just perfect.
“You’ve got to respect the internationals – Fame Game and the English horses and Europeans – but I think my horse is probably the best local chance.
“I suppose you can rule out maybe half the field because they won’t run out a strong 3200 metres but that’s where my horse comes into the fray.
“He ran third last year and he’s peaking at the right time.”
Posting an impressive eight wins and four minors through twenty four career starts so far, Who Shot Thebarman began his racing career under the guidance of notable New Zealand trainer Mark Oulaghan before transferring to the care of Chris Waller prior to his 2014 Spring Carnival campaign.
Running fifth in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) upon resuming this year, Who Shot Thebarman ran fourth in each of the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 The BMW (2400m) before finishing an agonizingly-close second to stable mate Grand Marshal in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).
Running seventh in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) first-up this time, Who Shot Thebarman has since placed fifth in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m), eighth in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and seventh in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) leading into the 2015 Melbourne Cup.
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