One of eight entrants for super-trainer Chris Waller, the 5YO will look to defy his breeding and claim victory in the time-honoured staying contest. Taking on a 2400m contest at Bendigo on Golden Mile Day back in April, he took a 2kg claim for Fred Kersley when running a 1.25 length 2nd to Harrison. Sent to the paddock after that run he returned over the mile in a BM91 and was impressive first-up when under one length from the winner Avilius. Sent out over a 1030m trial in between runs, he was next seen at 2000m when running through the line strongly and only a long neck from the winner The Lord Mayor under 58.5kg in a BM88. Stepped up to Group company for the first time in the G3 Kingstown Town Stakes over 2000m, he carried 55kg and again had to settle for the minor money behind Avilius. Dropping to just 50kg with Kerrin McEvoy to take the ride, the gelded son of Fastnet Rock has yet to miss a place at Randwick, however has not scored at the track either with hiss figures at 3: 0-1-2.
The 6YO entire last raced in the 2017 Melbourne Cup when finishing 16th of the 23 runners and over 15 lengths from the winner. Since that run, the Irish import has changed barns and is now prepared by the Ciaron Maher/ David Eustace partnership. Well-travelled in 2017, the son of Canford Cliffs raced in England, Dubai, The United States and Australia, placing 2nd in three of seven starts for the year. Stepping out in Australia for the first time in the G2 Herbert Power Stakes, he charged home from the rear of the field to get within one length of the winner Lord Fandango and claim 2nd placing. Sent to the paddock after his failure in the Cup under 53kg, he has been warmed up with two trials as he readies for a Spring assault. Looking good in both trials run over 1550m, he faces a unique prep to target this race first-up, but with James McDonald aboard and wins from 2100m up to 2900m, he has the X Factor.
Another of the Waller runners, The Lord Mayor faces his sternest test this campaign however is one of just three runners bringing winning form into the race. Showing potential during his 3YO term, he was given his shot in some of the better races including the Rosehill Guineas and the ATC Derby and found them out of reach and was sent to the paddock after the Derby. Returning in a BM82 over 1400m, they were too slick first-up as he needed the extra trip. Second-up in a BM88 with 56kg, he was ridden much closer to the speed over the 2000m and the change was successful as he went on to score victory by a neck. Taking on another BM 88 and again at the 2000m, this time at Rosehill, the 4YO was sent to the post as favourite and under the 58.5kg again scored with thee margin a neck over Goodfella. Jay Ford takes the ride for the first time and with just 50kg should be able to settle the gelding close to the speed from barrier 7.
Big Duke returns looking to go one better than his 2017 effort in this race when finishing 2nd to Foundry. Settling in the second-half of the small field of 10, he carried 55kg when running the winner Foundry to a half-length. At his next start in the St Leger on Everest Day, Brenton Avdulla rode the gelding closer to the speed and it paid dividends as he was able to cruise home to victory in the 2800m contest. 4th in the Melbourne Cup followed by a 3rd in the Sandown Classic, he was then sent for a well-earned spell. Resuming this prep in the PB Lawrence at Caulfield, the 1400m was too sharp and he then found the 60kg a bit much at his next outing. Starting to get closer to his right trip last time in the Kingston Town, there was plenty to like about the way he hit the line when under three lengths from the winner Avilius. With a 5: 2-2-1 record at the distance, his Randwick record is strong at 5: 2-1-1.
The Group 1 The Metropolitan or the Metrop as it is often referred sits alongside the Caulfield Cup as the only 2400m races on the Australian G1 calendar run under handicap conditions. In 2018 the lowest handicap for 3YO’s will be 48kg and for aged horses 50kg.
The race dates back to 1863 and was originally known as the Great Metropolitan Stakes and was run over 3200m. The race has changed in distance on numerous occasions, however has never been run less than the current distance of 2400m, which it has maintained since 2001. It has been held at Randwick every year except for 1983 when it was run at Warwick Farm.
The winner of the Newcastle Cup is exempt from ballot, while the winner of the Queens Cup (Colin Stephen Quality) is exempt from ballot and penalty. The winner of this race will gain a ballot exemption for the 2019 G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
In 2018 the race will offer prizemoney of $750,000 with the winner to receive $430,000. The 201 7winner was the Robert Hickmott trained Foundry, ridden by Michael Dee. Other past winners include Glencadam Gold, Tawqeet, Te Akau Nick, Ming Dynasty and Tails.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Spring Racing Carnival races at UBET's Spring Racing Betting Hub.
|Date:||Saturday 29th September 2018|
|Race Time:||16:45 AEST|
|Race Type:||3YO+ HCP|
|2018 Metropolitan Odds|
|2016||Sir John Hawkwood|