Cup veteran won’t lack support
Who Shot Thebarman’s fan club will again be out in force at Flemington next Tuesday.
They will be cheering on the marathon marvel when he makes his fourth A$6.2 million Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) appearance.
|Who Shot Thebarman Photo: Darryl Sherer|
The durable New Zealand-bred and owned nine-year-old will also be chasing history as he bids to become the oldest winner of the event.
“He just keeps showing up, he’s amazing,” said Dan O’Leary, who shares in the ownership of Who Shot Thebarman with his brothers Humphrey, Michael and Shaun.
“We had 80 to 100 there last year, all family and friends and it will be the same this time.”
Who Shot Thebarman finished third in the Cup in 2014, unplaced in 2016 and fifth 12 months ago.
“Chris Waller has done a tremendous job with the horse, just to have him run in the race four times is a feat in itself,” O’Leary said.
Who Shot Thebarman earned his return to Flemington with his last-start success in the Gr.2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m).
“We weren’t expecting that, we were just hopeful,” O’Leary said. “On the really hard tracks in Sydney he wasn’t stretching out and Chris thought he would on the Moonee Valley track.”
That victory took Who Shot Thebarman’s career earnings in excess of A$3 million, an outstanding return on his purchase price from breeders White Robe Lodge.
“It was either eight or 10,000 that Michael paid for him,” O’Leary said. “He bought him over the phone after Wayne Stewart went through the horses and Michael went through all the breeding.
“Yamanin Vital has been a very good sire, he leaves some great staying horses.”
Who Shot Thebarman didn’t begin racing until he was a late four-year-old, although that wasn’t entirely by design.
“He was a bit difficult early on and took a while to settle down,” O’Leary said.
The gelding made rapid progress under the guidance of Mark Oulaghan and won the Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m) at just his ninth start for the Awapuni trainer.
To be ridden in Tuesday’s Cup by Tommy Berry, Who Shot Thebarman will carry 54kg - the lightest weight on his back since he won the Ellerslie feature in 2014 with 52.5kg.
His Flemington feats aside for Waller, he is also the winner of the Gr.2 Zipping Classic (2400m) and the Gr.3 Bart Cummings (2520m), as well as multiple Group One placings. - NZ Racing Desk.