Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller warns followers of Shoot Out not to discard the seven year old as he lines up again for another Group 1 contest over the Metric Mile in the $350,000 George Main Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
Waller will saddle up the first four in the betting including last start Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes winner Hawkspur who will start the favourite.
But he would not be surprised if his 1600m specialist Shoot Out makes it back to back wins in the George Main after beating ill-fated stablemate Rangirangdo last year.
Waller is prepared to overlook Shoot Out’s first up effort when he was caught up behind runners in the straight when eleventh to Malavio in the Group 3 $125,000 Tattersalls Club Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick two weeks ago and expects him to be at his top on Saturday.
“He got into a bit of a bottleneck and couldn’t get out of it but it won’t do his chances any harm,” Waller told the Sportsman.
“We’ve all seen how he can race fresh over a mile, I wouldn’t say he is fresh, but he is certainly fit enough to run a strong mile.”
“We know how effective he is over a mile, especially at Randwick, so there is a lot in his favour.”
Shoot Out has raced nine times over 1600m with four wins, all at Group 1 level, plus two placings.
As well as last year’s George Main Stakes, the High Chaparral gelding won the $500,000 Turnpoint Royal Randwick Guineas at Randwick and the $350,000 Chipping Norton Stakes at Warwick Farm twice.
Shoot Out’s other Group 1 victory was the 2010 $1.5m David Jones Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick.
Top rider Hugh Bowman is back aboard Shoot Out after missing the ride in the Tramway Stakes when he was committed to the Bart and James Cummings trained Norzita who was subsequently scratched because of injury.
Current markets for the George Main Stakes sees Waller’s horses holding down the top four spots in the betting with Hawkspur marked as the $3.20 favourite, followed by Royal Descent at $5, Sacred Falls at $8.00 and Shoot Out at $8.50.
The first non-Waller trained horse in the betting is Guy Walter’s top race mare Streama at $9.