One of the final traditional lead-up races to the Metropolitan Handicap 2011 will take place at Rosehill Racecourse this Saturday with the running of the $125,000 Group 3 Colin Stephen Handicap (2400m).
The 2011 Colin Stephen Handicap nominations attracted 14 gallopers, all but one of which are heading towards a start in one of the key Epsom Super Saturday races at Randwick on October 1, the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m).
Last year’s The Metropolitan Handicap winner Descarado came via a fifth place finish in the Colin Stephen Handicap, while the 2010 Colin Stephen Handicap winner No Wine No Song went on to run a close third in the Metropolitan nearly 12 months ago.
The shortest-priced of the Colin Stephen Handicap nominees in the futures The Metropolitan odds at Luxbet is the David Vandyke-trained Lamasery who comes off a last-start win in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on September 10.
Commands five-year-old Lamasery is rated an $11 chance to upset The Metropolitan favourite Trusting, a price that will shorten should they be accepted for and win the Colin Stephenson on Saturday.
2011 Metropolitan Handicap Odds
Other shorter-priced Metropolitan hopefuls out to stake their claims in the Colin Stephenson at the Gardens this weekend include the David Payne-trained Praecido ($21) who ran fourth in the Kingston Town Stakes a fortnight ago, John Thompson’s Galileo mare Galizani ($26) and Gerald Ryan’s Tatt’s Cup winning six-year-old Ironstein ($35).
Meanwhile Brisbane-based horseman Brian Smith has two Colin Stephen hopes this year in Raeburn and Hume.
Danehill Dancer seven-year-old Raeburn comes off an eye-catching fourth behind Lloyd Williams’ imported spring hope Green Moon when beaten less than a length and a half in the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) last Wednesday.
Zabeel eight-year-old Hume also ran in the Newcastle Gold Cup finishing two and a half lengths from the winner in seventh, and Smith is happy with the way both of them have come through as they head towards a start in The Metropolitan.
“Hume’s run was very good,” Smith said of the Cup.
“He was carted off the track on the home turn which cost him finishing a lot closer.
“Hume will either run in the Metropolitan or another race in Sydney, but he won’t be going on to Melbourne.
“I’d like some rain for Raeburn in the Metropolitan. He’d be a real chance if the track was wet.”
In the futures The Metropolitan 2011 betting at Luxbet Hume is at $61 while Raeburn is a $151 roughie.
Also with multiple Colin Stephen Handicap entries this year is Chris Waller who has nominated eight-year-old Illustrious Blue and Wyong Gold Cup winner The Verminator who comes off a fifth place finish in the Newcastle Gold Cup.
Wednesday will see the release of all the Saturday race final fields including the acceptances and barriers for the Colin Stephen Handicap.
So stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the updates, and to get in on the early Sydney spring betting futures for The Metropolitan before prices firm over the next week, head to our preferred online bookmaker Luxbet.
2011 Colin Stephen Handicap Nominations
|2||GALIZANI||John P Thompson||92|
|3||HUME (NZ)||Brian Smith||91|
|4||ILLUSTRIOUS BLUE (GB)||Chris Waller||–|
|7||PLANET PURPLE||Kerry Parker||65|
|8||PRAECIDO (NZ)||David Payne||91|
|10||REBEL SOLDIER (IRE)||David Hayes||95|
|11||RED EYE SPECIAL (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||75|
|12||SPLENDID HONOURS||Paul Perry||67|
|13||THE VERMINATOR||Chris Waller||94|
|14||TWO FOR TEA (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||68|