Two Golden Rose Day winners at Rosehill Gardens on the weekend have been named as candidates for the Sydney Spring Carnival’s 2011 The Metropolitan Handicap, with Red Eye Special and Lamasery both earning their shot at Group One glory next month.
Trainer Anthony Cummings may have suffered the bitter disappointing of seeing his formerly unbeaten colt Smart Missile go down in the Golden Rose at Saturday’s meeting, but earlier in the day he enjoyed two victories.
While his four-year-old Fastnet Rock mare Gybe impressively beat a field of fellow females in the $100,000 Listed Sheraco Stakes (1100m), it was the win in the less highly-spruiked Race 2 by his Kiwi import Red Eye Special that caught Cummings’ attention.
Drawn in an awkward barrier 11 of 13, Yamanin Vital gelding Red Eye Special was having just their second start in Australia after failing on debut at Rosehill on August 27, and showed a liking for the increased distance.
In a Rosehill race result ruled by the roughies, Red Eye Special ($16) was ridden to victory by Glen Boss to finish a half-neck ahead of the Graeme Rogerson-trained Mossamine ($26) while Saint Saiala ($19) was a mere nose further away for third in the $70,000 Styletread.Com.Au Handicap (1900m).
After the race Cummings named the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on Epsom Handicap Day, October 1, as a possible aim for Red Eye Special.
2011 Metropolitan Handicap Odds
“Red Eye Special is a really nice horse, I like him, and we will head towards The Metropolitan,” Cummings confirmed.
“I’ll have a look and see how he does, he probably needs another one (run) to get a strong mile and a half (2400m).
“It is two weeks until the (Group 3) Colin Stephen (Quality over 2400m at Rosehill on September 24) and then it’s a week to the Metrop.
“That’s what I’m probably looking at.”
Metropolitan Handicap odds at Luxbet are currently lead by $8.50 equal favourites, the imported duo Glass Harmonium and My Kingdom Of Fife.
Red Eye Special can be found further down The Metropolitan betting markets at a juicy quote of $51.
Another Rosehill winner on the weekend that is on way to The Metropolitan 2011, now rated a $17 chance in the Luxbet odds, is Lamasery.
The David Vandyke-trained Commands five-year-old beat a field of more experienced stayers to win the $125,000 Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m), Lamasery ($8.50) finishing a head in front of a gallant Crafty Irna ($13) with Robert Hickmott’s spring Cups-bound Mourayan ($6.50) a further three and a half lengths away third.
Showing real staying potential, Lamasery looked on target to step up to the 2400 metres of The Metropolitan, but perhaps not without another test first.
“Lamasery was second-up at 2000 metres and I was worried if he was ready for the race and I’ll be worried if he is ready for 2400 metres if we go to The Metropolitan without another race,” Vandyke said.
“But this horse will tell me when he is ready to race.
“He doesn’t need a lot of racing to reach his peak.”
The Kingston Town Stakes has been a good guide to The Metropolitan in recent years, Gai Waterhouse’s Herculian Prince taking out the double 12 months ago.
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2011 Kingston Town Stakes Finishing Order & Result
Rosehill Race 7 – 10/09/2011
|1||12||LAMASERY||David Vandyke||Brenton Avdulla||9||53kg||$8.50|
|2||13||CRAFTY IRNA||Ron Quinton||Glyn Schofield||0.2L||7||53kg||$13|
|3||1||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Hugh Bowman||3.7L||3||58.5kg||$6.50|
|4||9||PRAECIDO (NZ)||David Payne||Glen Boss||5.1L||2||53kg||$9.50|
|5||3||IRONSTEIN||Gerald Ryan||Jim Cassidy||5.2L||12||54.5kg||$13|
|6||11||ALTIUS||Chris Waller||Corey Brown||5.5L||8||53kg||$2.90F|
|7||8||GALIZANI||John P Thompson||Christian Reith||6.3L||10||53kg||$26|
|8||6||BREAK CARD||Gerald Ryan||Jay Ford||8.1L||4||53kg||$21|
|9||15||PLANET PURPLE||Kerry Parker||Jeff Penza||8.8L||15||53kg||$61|
|10||4||REBEL SOLDIER (IRE)||David Hayes||James McDonald (a)||9L||14||54kg||$26|
|11||7||BELLAGIO WYNN||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||9.3L||6||53kg||$31|
|12||2||SHOOTOFF (NZ)||Graeme Rogerson||Malcolm Walker||9.5L||11||57.5kg||$18|
|13||10||PACINO||Clinton McDonald||Nathan Berry||10.1L||13||53kg||$41|
|14||5||LODGE THE DEEDS||Gwenda Markwell||Chris Munce||10.4L||5||53.5kg||$26|
|15||14||HIDDEN GEM||David Vandyke||Blake Spriggs (a)||14.5L||1||53kg||$15|