Star jockey James McDonald used his initiative in a mid-race move and Who Shot Thebarman did the rest as the stayer spaced his rivals in winning the Group Two Zipping Classic.
McDonald was last on Who Shot Thebarman after beginning awkwardly but he let the gelding roll forward down the back straight to take up the running.
The seven-year-old, coming off a luckless Melbourne Cup 11th placing, kicked away at the top of the home straight to win by seven lengths over Tall Ship ($5) with Do You Remember ($41) another 2-1/2 lengths away third at Sandown on Saturday.
“He was simply awesome,” McDonald said.
McDonald said trainer Chris Waller’s Melbourne stable representative Justine Hales filled him with confidence about Who Shot Thebarman’s chances.
“When Justine legged me on, she said ‘this horse is flying’. So that was good enough for me.”
McDonald “wasn’t going to die wondering” when he made the move from the tail of the seven-horse field, knowing he was on a quality stayer.
“I had done no work early and he was switched off an in a beautiful rhythm,” McDonald said.
“I was never going to win the race from where I was. (Favourite) Rising Romance was outside the leader, and I was on a stayer that was going to stay the trip.
“I was never going to outsprint her, so when I looked up I thought I might as well try something because I’m not going to die wondering.”
McDonald has clinched the spring jockeys’ premiership having opened up a commanding lead over his nearest rivals.
Hales said Who Shot Thebarman ($3.50) had freshened up so well since the Melbourne Cup, when he struck interference in the straight.
“(Jockey) Blake Shinn thought he would’ve finished top five,” Hales said.
“He was bucking and squealing yesterday and today and for a horse to come back from a Melbourne Cup like that is good.”
Favourite Rising Romance didn’t let down in the straight and finished last, with trainer David Hayes saying the mare felt the ground and a Hong Kong trip is highly unlikely.
“She needs to be in form to be going to Hong Kong and on that performance you couldn’t take her,” Hayes said. – AAP TURF