Who Shot Thebarman lands elusive Sydney Cup

The remarkable racing career of Who Shot Thebarman (by Yamanin Vital) took another amazing twist when the grand 9-year-old galloper landed the $2 million, Group 1, Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick this afternoon at his fifth attempt in landing the feature

A perennial runner in both the Sydney Cup and the Melbourne Cup for the past handful of seasons, Who Shot Thebarman was generally regarded to be passed his best after 50 career starts, yet upstaged his younger rivals with a dour staying effort in the celebrated two-mile event.

Run at a genuine speed with Cismontange and the heavily backed Aloft leading the way, the race took shape in ernest with 1000 metres to run.

Racing in fourth position at this stage, Aloft came under heavy pressure and dropped out of the picture in very disconcerting fashion just as all of the protagonists were making their challenge. Notably, the familiar colours of Who Shot Thebarman were making steady headway.

The final 300 metres subsequently witnessed a three horse battle between Zacada (by Zabeel), Sir Charles Road (by Myboycharlie) and Who Shot Thebarman, with the veteran stayer just getting the better of the brace of New Zealand-trained stayers on his inside.

Who Shot Thebarman defeated Zacada by a nose. Zacada in turn took second place from Sir Charles Road by a length. Finishing a desperately close fourth was Auvray with a dour staying effort.

Blake Shinn all out with Who Shot Thebarman (NZ), picture

Fresh off another command performance from his undisputed stable star Winx, proud winning trainer Chris Waller said: “He would be the most frustrating horse to train, not because of the horse but the seconds, the thirds, running in Melbourne Cups, Sydney Cups year in year out… 

“That is the best he’s looked for a 9-year-old. He was a test as a younger horse and we haven’t given up on him; looked after him. It was heartbreaking for the owners to be scratched on the eve of the Melbourne Cup last year with an elevated temperature.”

Waller continued: “He’s been in a few of them [two milers]. Year in, year out and every preparation, he gives us something to hope for and his run in the Tancred was unbelievable, so we came here with a bit of confidence. 

“You just need everything in your favour. It was the bob of the head and we thought we were beaten. Today was our day.”

Ridden to victory by Blake Shinn, the winning hoop declared in his post race interview: “What a thrilling finish. If there is ever a horse that deserves to win a Sydney Cup, it’s him. Only narrowly beaten in two, 9-years-old and he’s got a great group of owners that follow him around every year.

“This is for them. This is for the horse. Credit to Chris Waller and his team getting him to back-up every year. It means a lot to me to be able to do it for those guys. They’ve stuck solid with me the last couple of years riding him and it’s a massive thrill to be able to get him over the line today.”  

The remarkable Who Shot Thebarman is raced by Mr D M O'leary, Mr H T O'leary, Mr M J O'leary, Mr S C O'leary, Mrs J C Nugent-O'leary, Mrs A M O'leary, Mrs F J O’leary and Mrs L O’leary. His enduring race record now reads 51 starts for 11 wins, seven seconds, four thirds and $4,543,946 in prizemoney.

Who Shot Thebarman started as an $18.00 chance, Zacada at $91.00 and Sir Charles Road at $7.00. Margins of the race were a nose by a length. Winning time was 3m20.04s (last 36.88s).  

Shinn brings Who Shot Thebarman back to the winners stall, picture

Sydney Cup, photo finish picture ATC

What the beaten jockeys said:

Damien Oliver (Almandin): “He ran well. It felt like he jarred up a bit late with those few runs on that firm ground.”

Brenton Avdulla (Libran): “He gave me a sweet ride. He travelled up to the corner but he just ran out of legs. Missing the Tancred has really affected him.”

Glen Boss (Ventura Storm): “He had the perfect run. He came into the race at the right time. He just didn’t quite run the last 200m out.”

Michael Dee (Five To Midnight): “We would have liked a more genuine pace to have my horse in a better rhythm.”

Glyn Schofield (Auvray): “He had a lovely run. He raced a bit tight for most of the trip on the fence. He showed guts and ran well.”

Craig Williams (Lord Fandango): “It was a good run. It was his first attempt at the trip and he just raced too keen the whole race. He’ll derive a lot from that. He is a lovely horse but at that trip I would recommend the Blinkers off him.”

Kerrin McEvoy (Aloft): “He got into a nice rhythm. We were up close. At the 1000m though he put the flag up and he was gone. It will be interesting to see how he pulls up.”

Dean Holland (Zacada): “I thought I had pinched it. I was very upset to see that I got beat on the line. It was a good, tough effort and a great training performance.”

Andrew Adkins (Sir Charles Road): “He settled well. He gave me a nice feel coming into the turn. He wasn’t as strong at the end of the 3200m as others but he was only narrowly beaten. It was a huge run.”

Jay Ford (Lasqueti Spirit): “She was good, terrific. I rode her a little different to help her get the 3200m and she boxed on strong all of the way, she only finished two lengths off the winner.”

James Innes Jnr (Cismontane): “She got into a lovely rhythm. He had his chance but they were just a bit sharp for him.”

Craig Newitt (Patrick Erin): “He went good. He followed the winner through the run but just found them a bit too strong in the end.” 

Corey Brown (Peribsen): “He didn’t have a lot of luck. He was three wide so I pushed on around the mile. To me he just didn’t quite back up or stay.”

Grant Buckley (Admiral Jello): “He ran a really nice race. I was caught three wide with no cover and there was a lot of merit in his run.”

Dean Yendall (Ormito): “I was happy with the spot early. It was disappointing from the 1000m onwards. I didn’t have the horse I thought I would have at the end of that trip. She struggled the last 800m.”

Yusuke Ichikawa (Doukhan): “He ran terrific. I was last but I was really happy with him at the top of the straight. He hit the line good.”