Bringing the Epsom Handicap Day racing action to a close in Sydney on Saturday will be the 2013 The Metropolitan which has drawn a field of potential spring staying stars.
Running as Randwick Race 9 at 5:25pm (AEST), this year’s $400,000 Group 1 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) features a field of 15 final acceptors.
Heading The Metropolitan field and weights with 58kg is the Robert Hickmott-trained Mourayan with 58kg.
Drawn wide in gate 14 with Kerrin McEvoy to ride, the reigning Sydney Cup winner from the autumn is tipped to improve on their first-up seventh in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes as they go up considerably in distance from 1600m to a far more suitable 2400m this weekend.
They may be the top-weight here too but they do drop a kilo from their 59kg Makybe Diva weight and handled the 58kg to win the Group 1 Sydney Cup over 3200m at this track back in April.
Hickmott and owner Lloyd Williams will also saddle-up German import Seville form gate nine with Hugh Bowman to ride, the galloper having finished dead last in two of their three runs this time in.
Dominating the race in numbers is then top Sydney trainer Chris Waller with three hopes.
Waller’s top fancied chance is Brisbane Cup winner Moriarty who has drawn barrier one with 56.5kg.
Glyn Schofield is set to ride the son of Clodovil for the first time, Moirarty having had three separate jockeys for their opening three runs this time in.
“Moriarty is going great,” Schofield told the Herald Sun. “He should be very hard to beat in the Metropolitan as he goes really well at 2400m.”
Their most recent effort saw them carry 59kg with Nash Rawiller aboard to beat last year’s The Metropolitan winner Glencadam Gold, running in Melbourne’s Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) this weekend, in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) here at Randwick.
If successful Moriarty will be just the second horse in history to win the Brisbane Cup – Hill Stakes – The Metropolitan treble along with Redcraze back in 1956.
Moriarty will be joined then by the fellow Waller-trained I’m Imposing (barrier 10) and Lucripetous (barrier five).
Both horses played the bridesmaid last start with Danehill Dancer eight-year-old I’m Imposing running second to Julienas in the Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality (2400m) last Saturday, and Lucripetous having finished a brave second in the Group 3 Newcastle Cup over 2300m.
Gai Waterhouse’s Colin Stephen winner Julienas also backs up in The Metropolitan on Saturday and will be ridden by Tommy Berry.
Berry rode last year’s Metrop winner Glencadam Gold as well as the Epsom Handicap champ Fat Al and will be after the same double this weekend riding Ecuador in the other Group 1.
Waterhouse has also accepted for Danas Best who has drawn nicely in gate six getting in with just 52.5kg.
Another awesome light-weight chance who is battling with Moriarty for top spot in The Metropolitan odds is then the David Vandkye-trained Prince Cheri who came up trumps with barrier two.
A top fancy for the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) over this distance in Victoria on October 19, the Lando stallion vies for their third straight win having defeated Honorius last start to win the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m).
The complete The Metropolitan 2013 field, barriers, jockeys and weights are listed below.
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2013 The Metropolitan Final Field & Barrier Draw
Royal Randwick Race 9 – 5:25pm (AEST) – 05/10/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||174x8841x7||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Kerrin McEvoy||14||58kg||111|
|2||x55141x041||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||1||56.5kg||110|
|3||94x052x009||SEVILLE (GER)||Robert Hickmott||Hugh Bowman||9||55.5kg||105|
|4||81100×2431||JULIENAS (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||13||55kg||107|
|5||6x8578x054||SNEAK A PEEK (ITY)||Peter G Moody||–||11||54.5kg||104|
|6||741×594518||IBICENCO (GER)||Peter G Moody||–||12||53.5kg||102|
|7||12x1x311||PRINCE CHERI (FR)||David Vandyke||Jay Ford||2||52.5kg||100|
|8||27067×9025||IRONSTEIN||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||3||52.5kg||97|
|9||x070118023||PEAL OF BELLS||Gwenda Markwell||Christian Reith||7||52.5kg||94|
|10||80x93x8352||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||Chris Waller||Peter Robl||10||52.5kg||93|
|11||8×40232112||LUCRIPETOUS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||5||52.5kg||93|
|12||8009904136||SAINT ENCOSTA||John P Thompson||Timothy Bell||4||52.5kg||88|
|13||x126433x06||KINGDOMS (NZ)||John O’Shea||–||8||52.5kg||85|
|14||6×52521117||DANAS BEST||Gai Waterhouse||Nathan Berry||6||52.5kg||82|
|15||3551156893||PLANET PURPLE||Kerry Parker||–||15||52.5kg||78|