In-form Godolphin galloper Magic Hurricane is an early fancy with the bookmakers to step up in class this Saturday in Sydney and win the 2015 The Metropolitan Handicap at Randwick Racecourse.
John O’Shea’s six-year-old son of Hurricane Run has had 15 starts to date, the European import having been raced in Australia since June of this year when winning his debut down under at the track he returns to this weekend for the $750,000 Group 1 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m).
Since then he has won just one more time when beating home Silverball in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) ahead of a brave last start second to another Chris Waller-trained galloper Preferment in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) on September 19.
No The Metropolitan winner in the past thirty plus years has had their final lead-up in the Hill Stakes, but the odds at Ladbrokes.com.au for Randwick Race 9 at 5:20pm (AEST) on Saturday afternoon currently have Magic Hurricane as the $4 favourite to break the hoodoo.
He is drawn the rails for jockey James McDonald with the last Metropolitan Handicap winner to jump from gate one being County Tyrone (2004).
Just three other runners in the 15-horse The Metropolitan Handicap betting market this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival join the favourite, who is out to salute for the punters for the first time since Glencadam Gold (7/4 in 2012), at single figures.
The $6.50 second favourite is the widely-drawn Almoonqith out in gate 13 where Victory Smile jumped form to win back in 2002.
David Hayes & Tom Dabernig train the imported Dynaformer stallion who has had three runs in Australia, the latest being a close sixth to Caulfield Cup hope Magnapal when beaten only one and three quarter lengths in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) in Melbourne a fortnight ago.
Rounding out the hopes under $10 for the win are Waller’s former Doomben Cup winner Beaten Up ($8.50) in barrier two for Glyn Schofield looking to go back-to-back for last year’s winning trainer and Chance To Dance ($8.50).
Along with Opinion (2014) 12 months ago, Sydney’s leading trainer Waller also took out The Metropolitan with The Verminator (2011) and Beaten Up is one of his best hopes this year after a close Hill Stakes fourth last time out.
Chance To Dance meanwhile jumps from barrier five with Craig Williams riding the Robert Hickmott-trained Teofilo gelding who won over the Moonee Valley mile two back before his Hill Stakes eighth when still only beaten two lengths.
The next best in betting include Waller’s in-form Wyong Gold Cup – Newcastle Gold Cup double winner Beyond Thankful ($11) who drops from 58kg to 57kg even with a kilo penalty for his latest win and stablemate Junoob ($13) in gate three with Kiwi hoop Opie Bosson looking to ride eight-year-old to his first win since last year’s Hill Stakes.
Also in the mix at the top end of betting are the John Thompson-trained stallion Orbec ($11) coming off two runs behind Beyond Thankful when third in the Wyong Cup and second at Newcastle over 2300m on September 18, Bonfire ($15) for eight-time winning trainer Gai Waterhouse after her first win since Glencadam Gold (2012) and the super consistent Maurus ($15) last seen running second in the Kingston Town Stakes.
Check out the full The Metropolitan 2015 odds below, fixed win prices open online now at Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the three Randwick Group 1s in Sydney on Saturday!