Former Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur could be added to the confirmed The Metropolitan 2015 contingent for Sydney’s best Chris Waller at Royal Randwick this weekend.
The major support act on the Epsom Handicap Day line-up in Sydney on Saturday, this year’s $750,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) is the confirmed next up target for four from the Waller stable.
Waller has prepared two of the past four Metropolitan Handicap winners with The Verminator (2011) scoring the upset as a 20/1 before Opinion (2014) got the job done at 11/1 last Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.
This season he has the defending champion Opinion along with Junoob, Beyond Thankful and Beaten Up in the mix.
He could also add The Metropolitan to the program of his 2013 Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur, the now six-year-old son of Purrealist not having won a race since the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) in September last year.
Hawkspur ran in the Chelmsford again last time out and was disappointing crossing five lengths away 11th behind Magnapal who has the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in his sights back at the Caulfield track in Melbourne on October 17.
“Hawskpur may also run in the Metropolitan,” Waller told AAP after also confirming plans to run pre-field favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au Winx, Silverball, Sadler’s Lake and Flamingo Star in the $1 million Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at the same meeting.
In the all-in The Metropolitan betting markets the John O’Shea-trained 52kg lightweight Magic Hurricane ($6), who ran second to Waller’s Zabeel four-year-old Preferment in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) on September 19.
Waller’s Victoria Derby winner from last spring Preferment is the next best fancied at $9 however he is far from a confirmed starter with plans to head to Melbourne early with the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) over the two miles at Flemington on November 3 the long term aim.
“After Saturday we will look at which horses go to Melbourne to continue during the carnival down there,” Waller said.
Beaten Up (54.5kg) is the $11 third favourite and comes off a smart fourth in the Hill Stakes, the autumn’s The BMW third placegetter chasing his maiden win since taking out the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane back in 2013.
Beyond Thankful and Junoob pay $13 and $17 respectively and will carry 53.5kg and 54kg.
Flying Whipper six-year-old Beyond Thankful has won four of his past five starts including the Wyong Cup – Newcastle Cup double carrying 58kg so the drop back in weight should see the gelding flying home as he attempts a third win from four starts at Randwick.
Hill Stakes 12th placed Junoob meanwhile is a veteran eight-year-old son of Haafhd, the import out to break the hoodoo for 8YOs in the race with none saluting in over 30 years.
Stay tuned for the full Group 1 Sydney race fields for Saturday out on Tuesday.
In the meantime, treat yourself with up to $700 in bonus bets by opening a new account at Ladbrokes.com.au and entering the exclusive promo code SPRINGBONUS today!