The John O’Shea-trained Magic Hurricane has shot to the top of the futures The Metropolitan 2015 odds after another impressive spring run in Sydney over the weekend.
Godolphin’s Hurricane Run six-year-old entered $750,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) contention seriously second-up this season with a narrow win over Silverball in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill on August 29.
He raced at Royal Randwick over the weekend as part of George Main Stakes Day and enjoyed a step up in distance for the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m).
While he didn’t win he did put in a big effort to finish only a neck off Preferment, who trainer Chris Waller and jockey Hugh Bowman both has tipped as a genuine Melbourne Cup contender, in second.
The run was enough for the bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au to install him as the new $6.50 top fancy in all-in The Metropolitan betting, Magic Hurricane the only single figure hope in the mix.
The next two best in the markets are then Waller’s Hill Stakes winner Preferment, the Zabeel stallion winning his first race over the weekend since his Victoria Derby triumph at Flemington as a three-year-old last November, and fellow $10 fancy Silverball.
Preferment is also on track for a Melbourne raid again this spring with Waller naming the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17 and the iconic $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 3 as the major aims for his progressive stayer.
Stablemate Silverball meanwhile is a seven-year-old veteran who ran second to Magic Hurricane in the Premier’s Cup two back before a half-length victory in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) on September 12.
Silverball and Magic Hurricane are both 52kg lightweights in The Metropolitan handicaps, while Preferment is allocated just one kilogram more with 53kg.
Waller has won two of the past four editions of The Metropolitan with upset 20/1 winner The Verminator (2011) and Opinion (2014) saluting at 11/1 12 months ago.
Other early fancies to take out this year’s edition of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival classic include three more from the dominant Waller stables with Beaten Up, Beyond Thankful and Who Shot Thebarman, along with fellow $13 hope Complacent who also represents O’Shea and Godolphin.
Beat Hollow eight-year-old Beaten Up was third in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill back in late March but hasn’t run top three since.
He was far from disgraced in the Hill Stakes however beaten only a length to cross fourth with more improvement expected as he gets back out to the mile and a half.
Beyond Thankful is in flying form this time in, the Whipper six-year-old having won four of his past five starts including the Listed Wyong Cup (2080m) and the Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m) last Friday with 58kg on his back.
Like his trainer Who Shot Thebarman is a former New Zealander, the Kiwi import having won the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) in March last year before heading down under.
He has won just twice in Australia, the latest being in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m) last October and is best known for his third to Protectionist in last year’s Melbourne Cup.
A dour stayer, the two miles looks Who Shot Thebarman’s pet distance and after a fifth when only one and a quarter lengths off the winner in the Hill Stakes he is another Waller-trained galloper that will only get better the more miles he sees.
Complacent is allocated 55.5kg in The Metropolitan along with Who Shot Thebarman, the 2013 Victoria Derby runner-up having made a long awaited return last month winning the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) second-up.
In the Chelmsford the Authorized stallion beat Waller’s subsequent George Main Stakes quinella of Kermadec and Royal Descent, and in his last start Complacent was third past the post in the Hill Stakes.
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