The Epsom Handicap looms large for Shoot Out after he overcame evergreen barn mate Rangirangdoo to claim the Group One George Main Stakes at Randwick.
The Chris Waller-trained pair kicked clear of their rivals in the straight and after an epic battle, Shoot Out emerged a narrow winner.
The 1600 metre feature was Shoot Out’s first start of the spring and he will now press on to the Epsom at the same track and trip in two weeks.
“Obviously we’re looking forward to Melbourne as well if we can,” Waller said.
“I think he’s got a pretty good weight (58kg) in the Epsom considering his class.”
Rangirangdoo, who has overcome numerous injuries throughout his career, was brave in defeat.
Hugh Bowman rode the winner and paid tribute to the guts showed by the first and second placegetters.
“As the line drew closer I drew further away,” he said.
“They’re two wonderful horses and it’s a privilege to ride them.”
Secret Admirer again ran consistently for third while three-year-old All Too Hard made ground for fourth after being slow to jump.