This spring’s Cox Plate winning trainer Chris Waller is hoping his Group 1 winner Who Shot Thebarman still has one big run left in the tank for Saturday’s 2015 Zipping Classic after a luckless Melbourne Cup performance.
Third in the ‘race that stops a nation’ last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and runner-up to stablemate Grand Marshal in this year’s Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m), Waller’s seven-year-old son of Yamanin Vital could only manage to run four lengths away 11th behind upset 101/1 winner Prince Of Penzance in his second Melbourne Cup on November 3.
He was badly checked 200m from the line leading to a luckless non-placing in the world’s richest handicap, where a slow pace also worked against last year’s Auckland Cup winner over the distance in New Zealand.
“He didn’t really have a hard run [in the Melbourne Cup], he was knocked over in the straight and didn’t really exert himself and it certainly wasn’t a testing staying race,” Waller’s stable assistant Justine Hales told Racing Victoria this week.
“He worked very well on Tuesday morning and I’m looking forward to seeing him step out again on Saturday.”
Out to atone for that and break a lengthy winning drought that goes all the way back to October last year when he won the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington, Who Shot Thebarman runs at Sandown Hillside for the first time on the weekend.
Waller has the $1.4 million earner and eight-time winner from 25 runs entered for the $300,000 Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m), and Hales is confident he can run well.
“He’s been to the beach and had a few quiet days but he seems fresh and he’s eating very well,” she said.
The entries also include the first two over the line in the Group 3 Geelong Classic (2400m) over the same distance last month, Almoonqith and Dandino.
The David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Almoonqith also ran in the Melbourne Cup but got stuck at the back and ran a disappointing 18th.
He is nominated for both the Zipping Classic as well as another possible two mile run in the $150,000 Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) on Saturday, as is Dandino.
Prepared by Melbourne Cup winning horseman Darren Weir, Dandino backed-up from his Geelong Cup second to win last weekend’s Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2600m) after being balloted out of the race subsequently won by his roughie stablemate.
Winning trainer behind Delectation for last weekend’s Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) upset over the odds-on favourite Chautauqua, Waller has a total of six individual Zipping Classic Day entries.
His other notable hopes include Good Project stepping up in class in the $150,000 Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1500m) and his reigning Sydney Cup winning import Grand Marshal in the Sandown Cup on the back of a failed 21st in the Melbourne Cup.
Four-year-old High Chaparral mare Ballet Suite is a dual entry on the card for Waller on the back of her fourth to Coronation Shallan in the Group 3 Teiso Stakes (1600m) holding nominations for both the $150,000 Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) and the $150,000 Group 3 Summoned Stakes (1500m).
Ballet Suite is joined in the mares’ only Summoned Stakes entries by two of her stablemates with She’s Clean coming off a Group 3 third at Flemington on Cup Day last Tuesday and Kiwi expat Telepathic coming off nice Sydney form this campaign.
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