The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
One of four likely Melbourne Cup 2015 contenders for Sydney’s best Chris Waller this spring, Who Shot Thebarman is described by his trainer as a “genuine two miler” ahead of the famous Flemington feature over that distance on November 3.
Waller celebrated his first ‘Major’ with Winx taking out the Cox Plate in an historical and record-breaking edition of the Moonee Valley classic and is hoping to back that up with his maiden ‘Loving Trophy’ at Flemington Racecourse next week.
“It’s just a fantastic race – no longer does it stop a nation, it stops the world,” Waller said of the Melbourne Cup speaking to Racing Victoria.
“We’ve got some pretty strong chances but we also realise there’s 21 runners in the race from around the world (and) also Australia.”
Of the 42 second acceptances for this year’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), Waller has four including third placegetter behind German raider Protectionist and triple runner-up in the ‘race that stops a nation’ Red Cadeaux last year – Who Shot Thebarman.
A winner over the two miles back in New Zealand’s Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) in March last year before joining fellow Kiwi expat Waller in Sydney, the now seven-year-old Yamanin Vital gelding is out to break a 12 month losing streak next start.
His latest win was in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (252m) at Flemington last year before his Caulfield Cup 13th and then Melbourne Cup third when relishing the step up in distance last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Who Shot Thebarman also finished runner-up to longer priced stablemate and fellow 2015 Melbourne Cup-bound Grand Marshall in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) this autumn, just a short-head separating the two.
That was Who Shot Thebarman’s last time in the top three, his final lead-up into another Melbourne Cup assignment being a seventh when five lengths off the Murray Baker-trained four-year-old Mongolian Khan in this year’s Caulfield Cup.
He gets in on the same 54.5kg weight for his Melbourne Cup bid and is rated a $15 hope in the latest all-in odds at Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering a massive Melbourne Cup Prize Draw for customers who place any bet on the race with a first prize of a 2015 Ford Ranger XLT valued at over $57,000!
“Who Shot Thebarman, he’s your genuine two-miler,” Waller said.
“He’s a two-mile winner in New Zealand at Group 1 level, ran second in the Sydney Cup and of course third in the Melbourne Cup last year so he’s the benchmark of Australian stayers.
“We don’t need to change too much with him.”
That is an equal price with stablemate Preferment who ran ninth in last weekend’s Cox Plate over 2040m at Moonee Valley on the back of a Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) win at Flemington where the Zabeel four-year-old is undefeated.
Preferment drops from 57.5kg at WFA in the Cox Plate to 53.5kg in Flemington Race 7 on the first Tuesday of November, last year’s Victoria Derby winner set to bounce back according to Waller.
“The beauty of Preferment is he’s a colt,” he said.
“They carry natural hormones and I think it gives them a better chance to recover quicker from their races.
“Therefore he’s a very masculine horse, carrying a bit of extra weight, exactly what you need going into a Melbourne Cup.”
The stable’s Sydney Cup winner Grand Marshall pays $26 to secure another Group 1 3200m win in Oz, the six-year-old son of Dansili coming off a Caulfield Cup 11th when beaten six lengths by current $8 Melbourne Cup second fancy Mongolian Khan.
“Grand Marshal, he beat (Who Shot Thebarman) in the Sydney Cup, which was a bit of a surprise on the day but we can now see that Grand Marshal is a two-miler,” Waller said of the import.
The roughie of Waller’s Melbourne Cup contingent is Beaten Up ($81) who could struggle to run out a strong two miles according to his trainer.
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