Despite constantly declaring Shoot Out the ‘best horse in the race’ throughout his 2011 campaign John Wallace is ignoring any criticism, even though the horse is yet to so much as run a place.
There’s no doubt last year’s Australian Derby winner has talent but punters have copped a massive whack after showing faith in him time and time again this preparation.
He will have another shot at redemption this weekend in the Eagle Farm Cup and with only five other horses in the race Wallace will be struggling to find an excuse if he fails again.
His last victory was the Group 2 Liston Stakes at Caulfield last year before moving through schedule that finished with a failure in the Melbourne Cup.
Interestingly that race was over a 1400m trip, the horse obviously being asked for a lot more going up to 3200m.
In fact the debate surrounding Shoot Out’s best distance is raging with many scratching their heads over Wallace’s tactics this year.
After running over 3200m in the Cup he started this year in sprint events against Black Caviar over 1200m.
From their he’s had a go at about everything and will tackle a 2200m trip on Saturday at Eagle Farm.
His Australian Derby win was over 2400m but apart from that Shoot Out has never won over 1600m.
His last run was a fifth to Scenic Shot over 2020m in the Doomben Cup but Wallace has no interest in listening to any critics.
In fact he maintains he’s been unlucky in all four of his starts this year and that the horse hasn’t disappointed him in the slightest in 2011.
“There’s nothing wrong with the horse,” Wallace said.
“He’s just been unlucky a few times.”
He’s still based on the Gold Coast where he’s been working with impressive New Zealand filly Scarlett Lady.
She’s well and truly the best horse going into her race (Queensland Oaks) this weekend so maybe Shoot Out can benefit from the sessions.
“He worked with Scarlett Lady here on Tuesday and the pair of them worked very strongly,” Wallace said.
“There’s only six runners on Saturday and I’m confident he’ll be hard to beat.”
Even though he says he hasn’t been disappointed with the runs that hasn’t stopped him making a rider change with Corey Brown shafted after seven straight rides on the horse.
Glen Colless has been given the task on his home track with Wallace hoping it will change the luck he feels is strongly against him.
As always, only time will tell.