While his contingent for The Metropolitan 2013 at Royal Randwick on Saturday isn’t quite as imposing as his three-pronged attack on the Epsom Handicap, trainer Chris Waller believes he’s got a genuine shot at the classic with his Brisbane Cup winner Moriarty.
Sydney’s leading horseman will saddle-up last start Bill Ritchie Handicap winner Boban, his Doncaster Mile champ Sacred Falls and last start Theo Marks victor Riva De Lago in Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap over the mile.
In the day’s other major, the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) Waller will also saddle-up one of the top fancies with second favourite Moriarty.
Pre-field The Metropolitan betting is led by 2013 Caulfield Cup-bound Prince Cheri at around $4 after the David Vandyke-trained Lando stallion won the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) on September 14.
Hot on their heels also under $5 before acceptances are taken on Wednesday is then Waller’s Clodovil five-year-old Moriarty.
The imported gelding won their first Group race for Waller in June during the Queensland winter festival taking out the Group 2 Brisbane Cup over the mile and a half.
They returned at Warwick Farm in August for a below par run before improving when fourth to their Queensland Derby winning stable mate Hawkspur, who runs in the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) in Melbourne this weekend, in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 7.
Moriarty then showed they were on the improve and that all they needed was the extra distance when third-up they defeated the reigning The Metropolitan winner Glencadam Gold in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) back at Randwick a fortnight later.
While their record now boasts dual Group 2 victories, Waller believes the best is yet to come from Moriarty starting with Saturday’s Group 1.
“We quite possibly haven’t seen the best of him yet,” Waller told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“This trip will suit him and I think he is ready to go to Group 1 level.”
Waller also confirmed he would pay The Metropolitan final acceptance for Lucripetous and was considering also starting I’m Imposing.
Pentire five-year-old Lucripetous won back-to-back races over 2600m and 2200m during August before their credible second to Winning Glory in the Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m) on September 19.
Veteran Danehill Dancer eight-year-old I’m Imposing meanwhile has also been in good form but would be on a short back-up having run second to Julienas last Saturday in the Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality (2400m).
“Lucripetous will also run and I might back-up I’m Imposing,” Waller said.
“He (I’m Imposing) is probably 50-50 at the moment.”
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