Mel­bourne Cup again for ‘bar­man’

The Dominion Post - - Racing -

The pop­u­lar Kiwi stal­wart Who Shot The­bar­man will at­tempt to be­come the first 9-year-old to win the Mel­bourne Cup af­ter earn­ing his spot in the big race with a tough win in the Moonee Val­ley Cup.

Trainer Chris Waller said the con­sis­tent two-miler was a sta­ble favourite and ca­pa­ble of run­ning well in his fourth con­sec­u­tive Mel­bourne Cup. Who Shot The­bar­man showed he has not lost any of his com­pet­i­tive­ness when he fought hard down the short Moonee Val­ley straight to hit the post af­ter sit­ting qui­etly at the back of the field un­der Blake Shinn.

It was a fa­mil­iar feel­ing for the in-form Shinn who posted his third con­sec­u­tive win on Who Shot The­bar­man to post a tre­ble on Cox Plate day. Shinn will wait and see whether he rides the horse who has 54 kg in the Mel­bourne Cup.

Shinn said the de­ci­sion on whether he would ride was weight de­pen­dent while the hand­i­cap­per Greg Car­pen­ter con­firmed that Who Shot The­bar­man would not re­ceive a weight penalty for his win.

‘‘He’s got a cult fol­low­ing this horse. He’ll now line up in his fourth Mel­bourne Cup and on that win he’s not with­out a chance,’’ Shinn said. Waller was de­lighted that the horse that first brought him to the at­ten­tion of Mel­bourne race­go­ers when he ran third in the 2014 Mel­bourne Cup could win the race he was set to win this spring.

‘‘The own­ers said real­is­ti­cally this is is race to win a spot in the Mel­bourne Cup,’’ Waller said. ‘‘This horse means so much to the staff, Winx is one thing but the old stal­warts are an­other thing.’’

Who Shot The­bar­man’s Wan­ganui own­ers will head back to New Zealand on Mon­day be­fore re­turn­ing ahead of the Mel­bourne Cup with the horse hav­ing been placed in Mel­bourne and Syd­ney Cups and win­ning an Auck­land Cup.

Waller said the horse de­served an­other shot at the big race.

‘‘He’s been in the race three times. The first time he ran third. The se­cond time he was knocked over and al­most fell. The third time he ran fifth. He ran se­cond in the Syd­ney Cup only six months ago,’’ Waller said.

‘‘It’s not just about win­ning the Mel­bourne Cup, it’s about be­ing a part of the event and it’s very hard to deny own­ers that op­por­tu­nity when they buy these horses, look af­ter them for so long and dream like we’re all en­ti­tled to.’’

The Chris Waller-trained Li­bran came se­cond to give the sta­ble the quinella.

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