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It’s been a big week in the life of Who Shot Thebarman.
Last Thursday night, Who Shot Thebarman was crowned ‘NSW Stayer of The Year’ at Racing’s Night of Champions in Sydney.
The then nine-year-old’s win in the Group I Sydney Cup, his first elite level win in Australia, was the catalyst for the gelding's gong which was greeted with one of the biggest cheers of the night in the Royal Randwick Ballroom.
When Shaun, Anna, Humphrey and Fiona O’Leary stepped onto the stage to accept the award, Who Shot Thebarman was introduced as “when think of the term warhorse, then Who Shot Thebarman surely comes to mind”.
“The 2014 Melbourne Cup placegetter relishes racing over 3200m.
“And despite now being a 10-year-old, he’s still at the top of his game.
“Who Shot Thebarman lined up for his fifth crack at the Sydney Cup earlier this year. A runner-up in the two-mile feature in 2015 and 2017, Who Shot Thebarman was finally rewarded for his consistency with a narrow victory in what was a thrilling finish.
“Trainer Chris Waller has done wonders to keep Who Shot Thebarman racing so well for so long and there’s still maybe more to come.”
Shaun O’Leary accepted the award on behalf of his brothers and fellow owners indicating there is plenty of optimism ahead of the spring.
“We had a look at him this morning. I think he might have a bigger season as a 10-year-old,” he said.
Shaun, Fiona and Humphrey (left to right) with Who Shot Thebarman at Waller's Rosehill stables last Thursday.
On Monday, Who Shot Thebarman stepped out for his second barrier trial ahead of his seasonal return, and the gelding by Yamanin Vital performed in a manner that endorsed the word of his past-owner four days prior.
Who Shot Thebarman contested a 1030m trial consisting of sharper Group I performers like stablemates Tom Melbourne, Comin’ Through and Single Gaze as well as Godolphin’s Doncaster Mile winner It’s Somewhat.
When you get past the novelty of Tom Melbourne winning the trial, it was the fast-finishing fourth of Who Shot Thebarman that was the impressive performance of the trial.
“Very good, jumped well, took a while for him to actually grab the bridle but the further we got in the straight, the stronger he got – very good right through the line,” jockey Tye Angland said.
With most of the preparation work now behind, Who Shot Thebarman will return to the races on Saturday week.
“Tye was very happy with the trial and said that he is doing everything right and relaxing well through the mid stages which is great to see,” Waller said.
“He is now ready to resume in the Chelmsford over a mile on the 1st of September.”
After kicking off the campaign in the Group II weight-for-age contest, Who Shot Thebarman is expected to remain in Sydney, campaigning for a few more runs before heading to Melbourne in October for one, maybe two targets.
“From there we’ve got the $500,000 Hill Stakes (2000m) on September 29 then possibly the St Leger (2600m) on The Everest day, October 13 but more than likely he’ll have another run over 2000m in the Craven Plate on the same day," Waller said a fortnight ago.
“Then he’ll progress to the Moonee Valley Gold Cup on October 27.
“He won that race last year, then unfortunately got sick after the run, and this year we will use it to gauge how he’s going compared with 12 months ago.
“Moonee Valley Gold Cup will tell us everything, how his chances would fare in a Melbourne Cup.
“If he runs very well at Moonee Valley, he’ll be telling us that he’s capable of going to another Melbourne Cup on November 6.”
In next week’s edition of Who Shot Thebarman – 'This is Your Life’ we'll continue the build-up to his racetrack return, so be sure to tune in again.