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Hong Kong-based jockey Tommy Berry has picked up the 2017 Melbourne Cup ride aboard Chris Waller’s gallant old warhorse Who Shot Thebarman as the nine-year-old lines-up in the two mile classic for the fourth time.
Berry comes aboard the Kiwi expat for the first time under race conditions as Yamanin Vital gelding Who Shot Thebarman looks to finally take out the ‘Loving Trophy’ in the Group 1 $6.25 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 7.
Out to make Melbourne Cup history as the first nine-year-old winner of the ‘Race That Stops A Nation’ since it was first run and won way back in 1861, veteran stayer Who Shot Thebarman is out to improve on his fifth in the event 12 months ago.
Hugh Bowman rode him for the unplaced run behind the Lloyd Williams-owned Almandin, who is back to defend his title leading pre-field Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Almandin is at $6.50 despite a mediocre run out of the placings in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) last time out and has international hoop Frankie Dettori aboard after the suspension of Damien Oliver.
In the 2015 Melbourne Cup, Who Shot Thebarman ran four lengths away 11th to the shock triple-figure winner Prince Of Penance with Blake Shinn aboard.
The horse’s best Melbourne Cup result was back in 2014 when Glen Boss, of triple champion Makybe Diva fame, guided him to a third behind the German raider Protectionist.
The latest Melbourne Cup betting markets have Who Shot Thebarman listed at $34 to win after an eye-catching win in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) on Cox Plate Day.
That was the grand campaigner’s first win since the 2015 Sandown Classic breaking a two year drought in time for Melbourne Cup Day.
Berry arrives from Hong Kong this weekend for Victoria Derby Day, and believes Who Shot Thebarman is peaking and is a genuine chance on Tuesday.
“He’s an old warrior that Chris Waller, like the master he is, has got him to peak at the right time,” Berry told Racing Victoria.
“He’ll go into the Melbourne Cup as a last-start winner – something most of them won’t be able to say.”
Four of the past eight Melbourne Cup winners won their lead-up assignment including Almandin last year who saluted in The Bart Cummings.
Berry also believes getting back to 3200m puts Who Shot Thebarman right in contention, the horse an Auckland Cup winner over the distance and also a dual Sydney Cup runner-up over two miles.
“He relishes the test and wasn’t too far off them in last year’s [Melbourne] Cup when fifth behind Almandin,” he said.
“I’ll be on a horse with the miles in his legs, coming off a strong win and a proven performer at this level – bring it on.”
Other confirmed Melbourne Cup jockeys include Dean Yendall on Darren Weir’s The Bart Cummings winning mare Amelie’s Star, Blake Shinn on her stablemate Humidor and Damian Lane on the Godolphin-raced Hartnell.
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