The Metropolitan 2015 is still on the agenda this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival for the up-and-coming Maurus after the David Vandyke-trained stayer saluted at Canterbury’s midweek meet on Wednesday.
The Medicean gelding enjoyed his second win in as many starts, the five-year-old carting the hefty 60.5kg top weight to a narrow photo-finish victory over the Gai Waterhouse-trained Zee Zeeley ($8) and Chris Waller’s $3.40 favourite Loving Home in the $40,000 Cellarbrations BenchMark 75 Handicap (1900m).
In his first run since taking out a 1900m win in the mud at Rosehill eight weeks earlier, the progressive Maurus travelled three-deep throughout with Jason Collett in the saddle, but still had more to give after the gutsy run.
It was a massive effort with the big impost for the lightly-raced winner who added to his imposing record that now stands at four wins and four seconds from 10 starts.
Yet to be tested in black-type company, Vandyke plans to change that next start confirming plans to take Maurus to Rosehill Gardens on Golden Rose Day, September 12, for a shot at the $125,000 Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m).
“That was outstanding and it was justice seeing him win after that,” Vandyke told the media post-win on Wednesday.
“He defied my logic when he kept going and knocked that off.
“He’ll drop to the limit in the Kingston Town [Stakes] in 10 days over 2000 metres at Rosehill and after that effort he deserves a crack at stakes’ company.
“I bet he’ll go home and sleep well tonight.”
The Kingston Town Stakes is a race Vandyke knows well having prepared two previous winners since 2011 with Lamasery (2011) and Prince Cheri (2013).
The Kingston Town is also a logical lead-up race for spring stayers in Sydney heading towards the $750,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick, run this year on October 3.
Last year’s Kingston Town Stakes winner He’s Your Man (2014) backed up on The Metropolitan Day but stepped back in distance to win the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) over the mile.
The last horse to take out the Kingston Town Stakes – The Metropolitan double though was Herculian Prince (2010) who also ran dead last when fifth in the Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality (2400m) in between.
Current pre-field The Metropolitan odds for this year’s edition of the mile and half feature has Maurus listed as a $41 outsider through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Race favourites are John O’Shea’s The BMW winner Hartnell ($8) who resumes racing in Saturday’s Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick and stablemate Magic Hurricane ($9) who won the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) for the Godolphin stable last Saturday at Rosehill.
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