Chris Waller dominates Saturday’s The Metropolitan 2015 field with the master Sydney horseman to saddle-up five of the 15 acceptors in the handicap classic at Randwick Racecourse.
Closing the Epsom Handicap Day program this weekend as Randwick Race 9 at 5:20pm (AEST), this year’s $750,000 Group 1 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) is shaping up as the Waller show with the Kiwi expat shooting for his third win in the race since 2011.
His previous The Metropolitan winners were The Verminator (2011) and Opinion (2014) last Sydney Spring Racing Carnival and his 2015 contingent includes this year’s 58kg top weight Beaten Up.
Drawn in barrier two, a gate that hasn’t produced a winner in the mile and a half feature in over 30 years, the Beat Hollow eight-year-old might not have won a race since the 2013 Doomben Cup but his last start fourth to stablemate Preferment in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on September 19 was an excellent effort.
Beat Hollow had Glyn Schofield on his back in the Hill Stakes and Schofield stays on this weekend, the horse dropping one kilogram from his last start weight of 59kg.
Following in The Metropolitan weights this season are three other Waller-trained hopefuls with Junoob (57.5kg) in gate three for New Zealand hoop Opie Bosson, the defending champ Opinion (57.5kg) who is up from the 56kg he carried to victory 12 months ago and the in-form Beyond Thankful (57kg) who copped a one kilogram penalty for his last start Newcastle Gold Cup victory.
Whipper six-year-old Beyond Thankful has the excellent lead-up form of four wins from his past five starts including the Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m) win with 58kg on his back and a top Randwick track record of two wins from three starts, but has drawn wide in the outside barrier.
He overcame wide gates to win the Wyong Cup (13 of 13) and the Newcastle Cup (10 of 15) however and outside gates haven’t been a hoodoo in The Metropolitan in recent years with The Verminator saluting from 16 of 17 and Opinion doing it from 14 of 16 for Waller.
Waller’s other The Metropolitan hope is former Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur jumping from the second widest gate (14) with four-time winning hoop Jim Cassidy aboard, ‘The Pumper’ after his first victory since guiding Heart Ruler to victory back in 1997.
Other gallopers drawn wide in the race this spring include the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained import Almoonqith (13), Grafton Cup winner Bonfire (12) racing second-up for Gai Waterhouse and the John O’Shea-trained Havana Cooler (11) who ‘The Magic Man’ Joao Moreira rides.
O’Shea and the Godolphin stable are also represented in the field by Magic Hurricane who has come up trumps with barrier one for jockey James McDonald, the Hurricane Run six-year-old coming off a Hill Stakes second.
Check out the full The Metropolitan Handicap 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and weights below then head to Ladbrokes.com.au to open your account quoting the code SPRINGBONUS to also enjoy up to $700 in bonus bets on the house!
2015 The Metropolitan Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 9 (5:20pm) – 03/10/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||800530×484||BEATEN UP (GB)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||2||58kg||107|
|2||0x0084x750||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Opie Bosson||3||57.5kg||106|
|3||160x82Px00||OPINION (IRE)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||10||57.5kg||106|
|4||x188211411||BEYOND THANKFUL (IRE)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||15||57kg (incl. 1.0kg penalty)||104|
|5||2237x421x6||BONFIRE (GB)||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||12||56.5kg||104|
|6||033075×000||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||14||56kg||103|
|7||015416×506||ALMOONQITH (USA)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||13||55.5kg||101|
|8||3955×14312||MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||1||55.5kg||95|
|9||34321x6x18||CHANCE TO DANCE (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Craig Williams||5||55.5kg||100|
|10||4211x7x232||ORBEC (FR)||John P Thompson||Zac Purton||4||55.5kg||95|
|11||x00x861235||KAPOUR (IRE)||Ciaron Maher||TBA||9||55.5kg||96|
|12||0755×99600||DISCLAIMER (GB)||Peter & Paul Snowden||TBA||6||55.5kg||92|
|13||4x21221x12||MAURUS (GB)||David Vandyke||Jason Collett||8||55.5kg||90|
|14||3x362Lx606||HAVANA COOLER (IRE)||John O’Shea||Joao Moreira||11||55.5kg||85|
|15||x054787146||GHOST PROTOCOL (IRE)||Paul Perry||Thomas Huet||7||55.5kg||78|