A capacity field of Stradbroke Handicap hopefuls...
You wouldn’t know it judging by the odds, but there’s plenty on the line for Who Shot TheBarman on Tuesday.
After falling short last year, four international stayers return to contest the Melbourne Cup at Flemington, but no one in this year’s field has the experience of Chris Waller’s veteran 10-year old.
Set to run in his fourth Cup, Who Shot TheBarman ($41) enters at almost un-backable odds with Ladbrokes ahead of the race that stops the nation.
Drawing 18, a gate no previous runner has ever won from in the Cups’ 158-year history certainly doesn’t help, but despite the bad luck at Saturday’s barrier draw, TheBarman has quietly gone down as one of the top Australian stayers – at least according to owner Dan O’Leary.
“People seem to forget that he won the Sydney Cup and ran third in a Tancred Stakes, which is two of Australia’s premier staying races,” O’Leary told TAB Racing.
“So he’s actually one of the form Australian stayers in the race. People forget quick that he is pretty much one of the best Australian based stayers here.”
The Barman, who is technically a Kiwi, is among the long list of horses Australia claims as their own.
A win on Tuesday would also make him the first 10-year old to ever win the Cup, although it sounds like Waller is a little down on The Barman’s chances.
“Chris is very conservative about the horse running in the Cup, I think he’s hoping for the top ten” O’Leary went on to say.
“But as we’ve seen in the race, anything can happen. I remember when Prince of Penzance won it, he was 100-1 and we got knocked to the ground.”
In his three previous Cup runs, The Barman has finished 3rd (2014), 11th (2015) and 5th (2016).
So far, only nine horses have gone on to win the Cup after placing in a previous year, with the most recent being Fiorente in 2013 after finishing runner-up in 2012.
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