Great Shot Looks To Atone In Bunbury

Jockey Craig Staples believes classy Magnus gelding Great Shot can avenge his last-start defeat in the Listed Bunbury Stakes (1400m) on Sunday.

After winning the Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m) first-up at Ascot, Great Shot had his colours lowered by Man Booker in the Pinjarra Classic (1300m).

Great Shot tried valiantly to lead throughout and fought on bravely for second, but he couldn’t withstand the finishing burst of Man Booker.

Man Booker, trained by Dan Morton, has made a spectacular return to racing after almost 12-months on the sidelines due to injury.

The 2015 WA Guineas champion is chasing his third straight win this campaign after coming from the clouds to win first-up at Pinjarra in February.

Great Shot will jump from barrier nine in the Bunbury Stakes. An awkward draw is offset by a 1 ½ weight swing on Man Booker.

Staples believes an eight day back up between the Cyril Flower Stakes and Pinjarra Classic contributed to Great Shot’s defeat.

“It was a real gut busting run and coming off the back of a short break I think played a part in his defeat,” Staples said.

“I worked him on Wednesday and he gave me a real good feel. He is tracking along nicely and how we would like.

“I think he can be in the race and I wouldn’t discount his chances of bouncing back and going one better.”

Man Booker, who has banked over half a million dollars in prizemoney, has drawn ideally in barrier four. Jerry Noske retains the ride.

Noske is attempting to join her brother Jarrad who rode Young Lionel to victory in last year’s Bunbury Stakes.

Meanwhile top Melbourne rider Damian Lane said he is delighted to be returning to his home track and reuniting with Variation in the Rangeview Stud Classic (1400m).

Lane and Variation team up for the first time since they combined to post a brilliant victory in last November’s Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) at Ascot.

“He is a high class galloper,” Lane said.

“He won the WA Guineas really well and I’m looking forward to having another sit on him.”

Variation, racing first-up this preparation, carries top weight of 59kg. In a field of 11 the War Chant gelding has drawn barrier three.

Julio Santarelli