Team Williams look to have uncovered their best chance of taking out the ‘race that stops a nation’ this spring with progressive stallion Seville earning talks of a Melbourne Cup 2013 bid after their win in the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) in Sydney today.
The Galileo five-year-old improved on recent runs and posted their first win down under, and their maiden turf triumph since winning a two-year-olds race as a juvenile in 2010 when prepared in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien.
Seville has been racing in Australia for owners Nick and Lloyd Williams under the preparation of Robert Hickmott since early last year, their best result before today being a second to stable mate and subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) exactly 12 months ago.
After three unplaced runs this time in they finally looked wound up and ready to go and enjoyed a good win in their maiden Sydney run taking out The Metropolitan 2013 ahead of the Gai Waterhouse-trained Julienas who was second to Green Moon in last year’s Melbourne Cup.
In third was then the brave Peter Moody-trained Sneak A Peek who had been threatening over the final few hundred meters after missing the start and working hard to bring themselves back into contention.
Eventual runner-up Julienas was best out of the gates and got into a nice position up front to lead while Seville found a handy spot on the inside sitting about third or fourth off the frontrunner.
Seville got the ride of the day however from their spot close to the fence where they stayed right until the final stride to snare the win thanks to a peach of a ride from Hugh Bowman.
The Metropolitan result was also a lovely reward for top jockey Bowman who had been riding beautifully all day without being able to get one home, including his devastatingly close second aboard Streama when he thought he’d won the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).
But there was another Group 1 for him to win, the day’s final race, where he could have found himself a good ride in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday November 5.
“It’s turned what was a frustrating day into a very good one,” Bowman said.
“To top it off with a Group 1 win for Team Williams is a great way to end the day.
“The horse was prime for this event and delivered accordingly.
“I think he will continue to improve as he goes for longer races.”
Seville showed plenty of promise last prep but has come back better this time in making them a genuine shot at the world’s richest handicap.
“It’s his first win since he won a maiden at Tipperary (in Ireland),” co-owner Nick Williams said on TVN after the race.
“We set him for this race heading towards the majors in Melbourne.
“Bownma gave him a peace of a ride….Australia’s best jockey Hugh Bowman knows best and he got there.
“We’ll have to wait and see how he pulls up (before talking about the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups)
“But he’s certainly very well weighted for those races.
“It’s a great victory (today) as it gets him qualified for the Melbourne Cup and I really consider him a great chance in that race.
“We couldn’t’ be happier with how this horse is going.”
The full The Metropolitan 2013 results can be found below.
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2013 The Metropolitan Results
Randwick Race 9 – 05/10/2013
|1||3||SEVILLE (GER)||Robert Hickmott||Hugh Bowman||–||8||55.5kg||$10|
|2||4||JULIENAS (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||0.5L||12||55kg||$6|
|3||5||SNEAK A PEEK (ITY)||Peter G Moody||Joshua Parr||0.8L||10||54.5kg||$19|
|4||8||IRONSTEIN||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||0.9L||3||52.5kg||$18|
|5||2||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||1.4L||1||56.5kg||$5.50|
|6||7||PRINCE CHERI (FR)||David Vandyke||Jay Ford||1.5L||2||52.5kg||$2.90F|
|7||10||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||Chris Waller||Peter Robl||2.3L||9||52.5kg||$31|
|8||1||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Kerrin McEvoy||3L||13||58kg||$21|
|9||14||DANAS BEST||Gai Waterhouse||Nathan Berry||3.1L||6||52.5kg||$31|
|10||13||KINGDOMS (NZ)||John O’Shea||Jason Collett||3.3L||7||52.5kg||$18|
|11||12||SAINT ENCOSTA||John P Thompson||Timothy Bell||3.8L||4||52.5kg||$101|
|12||6||IBICENCO (GER)||Peter G Moody||Tim Clark||4.9L||11||53.5kg||$14|
|13||15||PLANET PURPLE||Kerry Parker||Ms Kathy O’Hara||7.7L||14||52.5kg||$151|
|FF||11||LUCRIPETOUS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||–||5||52.5kg||$14|
|–||9||PEAL OF BELLS||Gwenda Markwell||Christian Reith||–||0||–||–|