Chris Waller recorded his second Sydney Cup success as Grand Marshal upset more fancied stablemate Who Shot Thebarman in a thrilling finish to the 3200m contest.
Backing up from a luckless run in the Chairman’s Handicap, Grand Marshal surged late under the guidance of Jim Cassidy to record a memorable victory in the 150th running of the feature Group 1.
Grand Marshal, rated a $41 chance with bookmakers, powered to the line on the rain affected track, downing Who Shot Thebarman and claiming the scalp of high-profile gallopers Hartnell and Protectionist.
“A two mile race is a different complexion altogether. All we can do is prepare our horses how we thought best,” Waller said.
“Who Shot Thebarman was getting a dream run following Protectionist and then to see Grand Marshal storm home down the outside, it was pretty good.
“It is a great feeling when you come for a Sydney Cup and it is something special when the two stablemates fight it out.”
The victory was memorable for jockey Jim Cassidy, who failed to gain a ride on Derby-Doncaster Day.
“It was unfortunate that I couldn’t get a ride last Saturday, I love it that much it was a little bit hurtful, but it’s nice to be here on the big days,” he said.
“I got the call up on Wednesday to rise this horse, I’ve had a bit of luck on him,. He ran good on Saturday, I assessed the form and didn’t think the three main chances had been going as well as they could have been looking back to the Melbourne Cup.”
“I thought he was the improver. I rode him at Rosehill and he was unlucky and then Joao (Moreira) rode him here last week and probably was a little bit too close, so I assessed it, we were going to be close today but I got hammered out of the barriers and so I went to Plan B.
“When they all got scouting into it at the 700m and I was really trucking into it with no weight, smoking the pipe. I was here to win the Sydney Cup. It’s beautiful.”
Grand Marshal started his career in England before being purchased by Mulcaster Bloodstock after only his third run.