Fresh from combining for a Group One Darley Classic win with sprinter Delectation last week, jockey James McDonald and trainer Chris Waller will link again with feature race chances in Melbourne on Zipping Classic day.
McDonald partners Who Shot Thebarman in Saturday’s Group Two Zipping Classic and Grand Marshal in the Listed Sandown Cup, and Waller’s Melbourne stable representative Justine Hales says both stayers have come through their unplaced Melbourne Cup runs in good order.
Who Shot Thebarman finished 11th in the Melbourne Cup (3200m) and Hales is not concerned about a drop in distance for the seven-year-old in the 2400m weight-for-age race.
“He’s freshened up really well,” Hales said.
“He was bucking and squealing this morning coming off the track. He’s a fit horse so we’ve just had to keep him happy.
“I think the race should suit him.”
Queen’s Cup winner Dandino is the $3.20 favourite for the Zipping Classic ahead of last-start Mackinnon Stakes runner-up Rising Romance at $3.40 with Who Shot Thebarman at $4.50 in the field of eight.
Both Who Shot Thebarman and Grand Marshal were horses which struck interference in the straight in the Melbourne Cup with Grand Marshal checked severely near the 350m and almost fell before finishing 21st.
Who Shot Thebarman was severely checked when tightened near the 200m.
“The race hasn’t seemed to worry them,” Hales said.
Grand Marshal will be chasing his second win over 3200m this year after his Sydney Cup victory in April.
He is on the fourth line of betting at $6.50 for the Sandown Cup and is one of three runners in the race along with The Offer ($5.50) and Almoonqith ($4.60) who contested the Melbourne Cup.
“Grand Marshal is a different type of horse to Who Shot Thebarman, when he’s up at that level he probably needs the 3200 metres,” Hales said.
McDonald is also booked for the Waller-trained Good Project, the early favourite in the Sandown Stakes, but Hales said he may not run on Saturday with the Group One Railway Stakes in Perth on Saturday week being considered.
McDonald is stable jockey for Godolphin and rides Demonstrate in Saturday’s Group Two Sandown Guineas along with fellow Godolphin-owned horses Generalife, Antelucan, Malice and Matilija in other stakes races on the program.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au