Chris Waller’s former Melbourne Cup placegetter Who Shot Thebarman will face a tough first-up test against star stablemate Winx in next month’s Warwick Stakes 2016.
A rising eight-year-old son of Yamanin Vital, the New Zealand expat enjoyed an impressive 900m barrier trial win at Rosehill Gardens on Tuesday morning ahead of his return in the $250,000 Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 20.
Waller also has his Cox Plate winning mare Winx down to resume in the Warwick Stakes this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival as she gears up for a trip south to defend her title in Moonee Valley’s $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 22.
Who Shot Thebarman has to date won nine of his 31 career starts, his latest victory being in the Group 2 Sandown Classic (2400m) last November.
That followed his 11th to upset winner Prince Of Penzance in the famous $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington, a race he crossed third behind Protectionist in the previous year.
Waller doesn’t expect a first-up win from Who Shot Thebarman, who has never won over less than a mile, but hopes for a promising effort ahead of longer distance tests over the coming months.
The $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 15 could again be on the cards for the warhorse followed by a shot at the ‘race that stops a nation’ on the first Tuesday of November for the third straight year.
Winx heads pre-nomination Caulfield Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $15 despite the race being far from a confirmed target for the $6.67 million earning daughter of Street Cry.
Who Shot Thebarman is a $41 roughie in the all-in Caulfield Cup odds and is at $51 in futures Melbourne Cup betting.
The galloper was last seen running a credible fourth behind Gallante at Randwick on April 9 in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) over the two miles.
Also running in Tuesday morning’s trial for the powerhouse Waller stable was Preferment who finished just behind the placegetters in the hit-out.
Waller is also looking at the Warwick Stakes as the spring starting point for the Zabeel stallion who won the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington and the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill during a stellar autumn campaign.
The then four-year-old was last seen crossing a distant 12th behind Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick in April, the winner of which is yet another possible Warwick Stakes runner next month.
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