A standout performer in his native New Zealand before travelling to Australia to contest the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) over autumn, trainer Chris Waller is confident of a polished first-up performance for latest stable acquisition Who Shot Thebarman in this weekend’s Canterbury Hurlstone RSL Handicap (1400m) ahead of a spring racing campaign geared towards the 2014 Melbourne Cup.
Beginning his racing career under the guidance of leading kiwi trainer Mark Oulaghan, Who Shot Thebarman earned a trip to Australia for the Group 1 event on day 2 of the inaugural The Championships when charging home to win the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) on March 5th, but wasn’t unable to handle the late pace set by eventual champion The Offer, finishing a disappointing 9th.
Remaining in Sydney to continue his racing career under the care of Waller, the Yamanin Vital gelding has reportedly taken well to his transfer to Australia, but will have to find top gear if to return to racing in winning form this weekend.
“He’s on a Melbourne Cup path – there’s a long way to go and a lot of improvement will be needed – but he’s a Group 1 winner in New Zealand over two miles, so that’s a big step in the right direction,” Waller said.
“He’s settled in very well. He came to us in great shape, his trials have been good and he’s showed a bit of speed.
“He does have a big weight, he does have a wide draw, I guess he’ll just get back and run home but, gee, he’s got some class on his side.”
Securing an impressive total of six wins and two minor places from just 10 competitive race starts so far, Who Shot Thebarman returned to racing in exceptional form over the late spring of 2013 through summer and autumn of 2014; finishing second to Military Move in the Group 3 Manawatu Cup (2300m) and winning the Group 2 Avondale Gold Cup (2400m) most notably prior to his Auckland Cup triumph.
A $17 chance to win at Rosehill Gardens this weekend, Who Shot Thebarman is currently available at generous odds of $41 for success in the 2014 Melbourne Cup at leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
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