Progressive import Magic Hurricane could be set for a The Metropolitan 2015 target this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival according to Godolphin head trainer John O’Shea.
Speaking to RSN’s Racing Ahead, O’Shea confirmed plans for a possible Group 1 The Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) bid for Hurricane Run gelding Magic Hurricane this time in, the Royal Randwick classic worth an increased $750,000 in total prize money this season.
The mile and a half feature is one of three Group 1 highlights on the Epsom Handicap Day card on October 3, the day’s feature race also enjoying a prize money boost from the ATC from $500,000 to $1 million.
A winner of three of his dozen starts to date, rising six-year-old Magic Hurricane is only lightly raced for his age and has had just the two previous runs down under.
His debut here was only last month when on June 6 at Randwick in won first-up by three quarters of a length defeating Pajaro in a BenchMark 94 over 1400m on a Soft (7) to kick off his career in Australia.
A fortnight later he raced at Randwick again this time over the mile on a Heavy (10) where he battled on in the mud and eventually crossed a credible fourth behind the same horse he defeated last time out, Pajaro, in the handicap clash on June 20.
O’Shea believes there is obvious improvement to come from Magic Hurricane who will be on show in Sydney early looking to earn a The Metropolitan assignment.
“I’m really happy with him,” O’Shea said.
“He’s got a good turn of foot and looks to be effective. Obviously, he won first-up.
“He’s a nice progressive horse and I think if he can show his hand early in the spring in Sydney something like The Metrop wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.”
All going well and the horse could also be Melbourne-bound later in October for a shot at the lucrative $300,000 Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on the 21st, which is a traditional lead-up into the ‘race that stops a nation’ – the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3.
“Maybe a Geelong Cup, something like that (in Melbourne). That tier of racing would be well within the realm of possibility for him,” O’Shea said.
O’Shea has saddled up just the one The Metropolitan starter over the years when he won the 2003 edition with Bedouin before he joined forces as the private trainer for Godolphin, previously Darley, last year.
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