Who Shot Thebarman and Grand Marshal are proven two milers and Chris Waller has them both primed and ready to tackle the 3200m of the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington today.
Who Shot Thebarman and Grand Marhsal are at the long odds of $34 in the Melbourne Cup and Waller is hoping for an upset win over the more fancied runners, Hartnell, the $6 favourite and Caulfield Cup winner Jameka the second pick at $8.50.
Who Shot Thebarman was the winner of the 2014 Group 1 NZ$500,000 Auckland Cup over 3200m at Ellerslie and also ran third behind Protectionist and Red Cadeaux in the 2014 Melbourne Cup.
Who Shot Thebarman also ran second to Grand Marshal in the 2015 Group 1 $1.6m Schweppes 150th Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick.
Waller’s two tough stayers have found form at the right time of the Spring Carnival with Grand Marshal getting the better of Who Shot Thebarman when the pair ran the quinella in the Group 2 $300,000 Antler Luggage Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.
“There as fit as they can be,” Waller said.
“I thought the runs at Moonee Valley for both horses were good and it is good timing in respect of what they need to do at the end of their preparation to have them fit and still have them sharp.”
“Nice and fresh in the last few days instead of worrying about getting fitness into them now, that was basically done at Moonee Valley two Saturday’s ago.”
“I am just hoping a really true staying test might suit both of our horses.””
“Because a slowly run race I think they might just struggle for a bit of speed at the end.””
“What ever stays the two miles out of those two (Hartnell and Jameka) is obviously going to be very hard to beat because their form is impeccable,” Waller said.
“I’ve got full respect for the European horses, they are running in races like the Melbourne Cup week in week out over these distances. That gives them a bit of advantage but it is a big step to bring them this far and expect them to perform at their best.”
Ben Melham takes the ride again on Grand Marshal (barrier 9) after steering him to victory in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup while Hugh Bowman has been aboard Who Shot Thebarman (barrier 20) for his last two starts and sticks with the eight year old gelding in the Melbourne Cup.