An outstanding ride from James McDonald helped Who Shot Thebarman return to winning form in the 2015 Zipping Classic at Sandown this afternoon.
Who Shot Thebarman was settled at the tail of the field in the early stages of the Zipping Classic, but McDonald was not happy with the tempo of the race and he took the talented stayer to the lead at the 1000 metre mark.
McDonald elected to keep going on Who Shot Thebarman and the Melbourne Cup placegetter absolutely blew away his rivals in the final stages of the race to record the softest of victories in the 2015 Zipping Classic.
The talented hoop said that he went into the race with plenty of confidence, but he knew that he had to turn the race into a true staying test if Who Shot Thebarman was going to beat the likes of Rising Romance.
“It was a great team effort with Chris and Justine (Hales) has done a wonderful job,” McDonald said.
“She said to me that she had never had him any better and for her to say that is a big thing.
“I hopped on to him with plenty of confidence and I knew that he would stay the trip well and I rode him like that.
“I did no work for the first four furlongs and I knew that I was never going to win by outsprinting them, so I rolled forward and the horse enjoyed it.
“He pricked his ears, had a good time of it and he is genuine.
“It was good to see him get another win on the board.”
Who Shot Thebarman dropped back to 2400 meters following a luckless run over 3200 metres in the 2015 Melbourne Cup and Waller’s Melbourne stable foreman Justine Hales did an outstanding job with the veteran stayer to have him ready for the Zipping Classic.
Hales was quick to pay credit to the initiative shown by McDonald in the middle stages of the race and she was confident that he would handle being ridden more aggressively in the Zipping Classic.
“It was a great ride by James – he summed it up really well because we knew that we couldn’t outsprint Rising Romance and we had to get rolling,” McDonald said.
“We wanted him to be a bit handier, but he missed the kick and James just got him into a rhythm and he got to the front so easily.
“Once he got there it wasn’t really a worry because he won the Auckland Cup in the lead and we knew that he could do that.
“Once he warms up and he gets into stride he has such a big stride and he is such an easy-going horse.
“He did it easy, we didn’t have to ask him to do it and he looks to have done it comfortably.”
Who Shot Thebarman is set to head to the spelling paddock and he will likely be set for a third straight tilt at the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) in the autumn.