There are three Group 1s running on Epsom Handicap Day in Sydney this Saturday with the card coming to a close with the 2015 The Metropolitan, betting tips on the staying classic found below.
Due to jump as Randwick Race 9 at 5:20pm (AEST), this year’s $750,000 Group 1 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) field features 14 after Chris Waller scratched Hawkspur from the mix to race in Melbourne on Sunday instead.
Four in the mix are under double figures in the latest The Metropolitan odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, who are offering Cash Back up to $100 if your selection runs 2nd or 3rd in the Epsom on the same card, including current $3.80 favourite Magic Hurricane.
The John O’Shea-trained galloper comes off a Hill Stakes second and has the nice 2400m record as he looks to become just the third favourite in the past 10 years to win.
Outside of the single figure chances money is also coming for Waller’s early market mover Junoob who hasn’t won since last year’s Hill Stakes 12 months ago but who has been backed in from $15 to $11.
So can Magic Hurricane get the job done for the punters or is there an upset The Metropolitan result on the cards from the likes of Waller’s former Doomben Cup winner Beaten Up ($7.50) who carries the 58kg top weight this weekend or the in-form John Thompson-trained Orbec ($11) getting in on the raised 55.5kg minimum?
#4 Beyond Thankful ($11)
Waller’s flying Whipper six-year-old has the nasty outside alley to overcome but still looks a big hope at double figures. He copped a 1kg penalty for his last start Newcastle Gold Cup win but still drops a kilo from 58kg that day to 57kg on Saturday with regular rider Hugh Bowman retaining the ride as the horse shoots for his fifth win in six starts. While barrier 15 (into 14) looks tough, there’s 2400m to get there and the gate has produced two winners in the past 10 years including Opinion for the Waller stable last year. His lead-up form is ace and he handled 2300m last time out no worries so an extra 100m won’t hurt. Is two from three at the track and Newcastle Cup form has held in this in recent years with two winners coming out of the event including Glencadam Gold (2012) who did the double.
#8 Magic Hurricane ($3.80)
Race favourite looking to take it out for the punters, there’s plenty to like about this six-year-old import including his good 2400m form and the inside alley. Will need to stay out of trouble form the gate but goes right back in weight from the 59kg he carried for a second in the Hill Stakes (2000m) on September 19 to the 55.5kg here with James McDonald staying on. Since arriving Down Under this galloper has done hardly anything wrong and the form of his Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) win two back was franked when runner-up Silverball backed-up to win the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes next run.
#13 Maurus ($17)
Value in David Vandyke’s improving Medicean gelding who has winning form up to 1900m but looks set to appreciate more metres. He won at Canterbury carrying a big 60.5kg two back before a brave second in the Kingston Town Stakes last time out, a race that produced last year’s The Metropolitan winner. Rises in class and distance obviously but so far the strike rate is good as he boasts an 82% Place Rate he can add to here with the right run from barrier eight.
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