Chris Waller will let the dust settle on Who Shot Thebarman’s performance in the Zipping Classic before deciding whether he returns to New Zealand to try to win a second Auckland Cup.
The durable stayer finished fifth the Melbourne Cup and fillied the same position in his attempted defence of Saturday’s Group Two 2400m-race at Sandown won by Beautiful Romance.
Who Shot Thebarman won the 2014 Auckland Cup for trainer Mark Oulaghan and is among nominations for 2017 with the 3200m-race on March 11, four weeks before the Sydney Cup.
Waller took over Who Shot Thebarman’s training in the autumn of 2014 and the gelding finished third in the Melbourne Cup later in the year behind Protectionist and Red Cadeaux.
Second in the 2015 Sydney Cup won by stablemate Grand Marshal, Who Shot Thebarman’s owners still live in New Zealand and Waller is also keen to take a horse back to his homeland for a Group One race.
“I’ve never had a Group One winner in New Zeland. I don’t think I’ve ever had a placing,” Waller said.
“The’ve changed the conditions of the Auckland Cup to set weights and penalties which means a horse like Who Shot Thebarman gets in well.
“It is certainly tempting.”
Waller has won more than 60 Group One races in Australia including the past two Cox Plates with Winx.
He will have another New Zealander in his stable with Shillelagh to remain in Australia following a mixed five-start spring campaign.
The mare won a benchmark race at Caulfield, finished second in a Group Three race at Flemington and fourth in Saturday’s Summoned Stakes at Sandown.