On Saturday a field of genuine stayers will face off in The Metropolitan Handicap 2013 in Sydney, the Races.com.au team’s insider betting tips on the mile and a half feature found right here.
Jumping at 5:25pm (AEST) as Race 9 at Royal Randwick the $400,000 Group 1 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) is the last on the program and is a key race for primarily Sydney stayers, many of which will head off to Melbourne for a shot at the spring cups after this.
The Metropolitan betting is this year led by the David Vandyke-trained Prince Cheri drawn in barrier two who is also a top fancy for the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) later in the month.
Prince Cheri pays $3.80 to win The Metropolitan, the in-form four-year-old getting in on the 52.5kg minimum.
They’re followed in the markets by the Chris Waller-trained Moriarty ($4.60) and Gai Waterhouse’s Julienas ($6) who are both also last-start winners having taken out the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) and Group 3 Colin Stephen Handicap (2400m) respectively.
But The Metropolitan hasn’t exactly been a race for the favourites or last start winners so finding a longer priced chance coming off an unplaced run could be the trick.
This brings into consideration a number of gallopers with genuine claims, but who are we tipping to win?
#13 Kingdoms ($13)
We’re following the history and hoodoos for this one and are staying away from the shorties in the markets as well as those coming off a last start one. Over the past decade six of The Metropolitan winners came off an unplaced run, and this is true of the John O’Shea-trained Kingdoms. The High Chaparral four-year-old improved on their first-up 10th to run sixth behind Moriarty in the Hill Stakes. They were beaten under four lengths and carried 58kg there. This week they go up to the 2400m and that’s going to really suit as they ran third over the distance behind It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 Australian Derby back in April over the mile and a half. They also drop right down to 52.5kg on Saturday which is another key factor as eight of the past 10 The Metropolitan winners carried 54kg or less to victory. They’re ready to improve, get the light weight and have gone under the radar – winner.
#2 Moriarty ($4.60)
They have a task ahead of them with 56.5kg but there’s a lot to like about the second favourite here and we can’t ignore their form. Hill Stakes win was a cracker and they’ll be ready to improve on that going up in distance again. Last time they went over the 2400m they won the Brisbane Cup with 58kg from barrier 16 of 18. Love Randwick and are two from four at the track, plus this is the race they’ve been set for so Waller will have them ready to peak. Jockey Nash Rawiller sung them praises post-Hill Stakes win, and while they’re not on here, he does look one of the ones to beat.
#4 Julienas ($6)
Was a tough call for us for the last minor place between this Waterhouse hopeful and the favourite Prince Cheri. Experience from the trainer has won out in the end however, Waterhouse having prepared seven previous The Metropolitan winners including Glencadam Gold last year. They are a cracker over the 2400m yet to finish out of the money (3-2-1-0), including their Colin Stephen win at Rosehill last Saturday. While lead-up form is very hard to read for The Metropolitan in recent years, the Colin Stephen has produced three of the past 10 winners and Railings managed the double in 2005. They’re on a short back-up but beat a number of these there and have been competitive right the way through this campaign. Had 59kg last start so 55kg is very manageable here.
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