TWO-PRONGED BID FOR MOONEE VALLEY CUP

For years the O’Leary brothers   have stood side by side barracking for their wonderful stayer, Who Shot Thebarman, as he racked up $4 million  in stake earnings.

He was fifth in the 2016 Melbourne Cup, took the Moonee Valley Cup in 2017 and also wonthe Sydney Cup last April.

The barmen were busy on those nights as the brothers celebrated long and hard.

On Saturday Who Shot Thebarman returns to the Valley seeking to defend his Cup crown. At 10 this  will surely be his Moonee Valley swansong.

For many owners to have one Moonee Valley cup starter is a blessing but Humphrey O’Leary is fortunate to have two this year.

Also carrying his hopes and dreams is Ladies First (pictured) whose  Melbourne Cup aspirations were dashed after trainer Allan Sharrock missed the first payment.

“Humphrey was very understanding and I’m incredibly grateful for that. I woke up in hot and cold sweats last night. It’s a sackable offence as a trainer but they have been great,” Sharrock said.

So Humphrey heads to the Valley seeking compensation, even if it comes at the expense of Who Shot Thebarman.

Sharrock’s former apprentice Michael Walker is on a shortlist to ride Ladies First.

Safely through the Moonee Valley Cup,  she will chase the Group III Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on November 10.

#Super mare Winx could have as many as eight rivals for her bid to make history with a fourth Cox Plate on Saturday.

Caulfield  Stakes winner Benbati is a definite starter as is the Pitmans’ Savvy Coup. Godolphin’s Avilius will also face the starter

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