Sydney hoop Rory Hutchings believes the Chris Waller-trained Kiwi import Sacred Master is a big danger heading towards the 2016 The Metropolitan on Epsom Handicap Day this October.
Master trainer Waller has identified the $750,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on October 1 as the major Sydney Spring Racing Carnival target for his Mastercraftsman gelding.
The former Tony Pike-trained stayer has had just the two runs down under with Waller for two eight place finishes with Hutchings in the saddle.
Despite the unplaced efforts in the Listed Winter Challenge (1500m) behind stablemate Marenostro on July 30 and the Premier’s Cup Prelude (1800m) won by Allergic on August 13 at Rosehill, Hutchings thinks there’s good things to come for the galloper this time in.
“Sacred Master could be one for a race like the Metropolitan,” Hutchings told Racenet.
“I saw him go through the grades over in New Zealand.”
Winner of the Group 2 Avondale Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie back in February, Sacred Master also caught the eye in his last New Zealand run.
On March 12 he finished only a length away third to El Soldado in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) over the two miles, and Hutchings thinks he’ll be back in form once he gets out over further distance in Australia.
“He’s the sort of a horse that’s not at this peak yet, I reckon he’s still on the way up,” he said.
“He’s not unlike Who Shot Thebarman who won the Auckland Cup and then ran third in a Melbourne Cup.”
Who Shot Thebarman is also a New Zealand import prepared by Waller.
He won the 2014 Avondale Cup – Auckland Cup double back home before a third in that year’s Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) behind Protectionist.
The now eight-year-old also placed second to the fellow Waller-trained Grand Marshal in last year’s Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) and fourth in the same race this year.
He returned to racing last weekend finishing sixth to star stablemate Winx in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and is on a Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup mission again.
Sacred Master meanwhile races again this Saturday at Rosehill Gardens on Run To The Rose Day in the $100,000 Listed Premier’s Cup (1900m) with Hutchings retaining the ride.
The pair are drawn mid-field in barrier five (of 11) and pay $8.50 in the current Premier’s Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Markets are led by the Prelude winner Allergic, the John O’Shea-trained Street Cry five-year-old at $3.50 and firming to complete the double.
The other major player sin Premier’s Cup betting this weekend are Kris Lees’ French import Singing ($4.20) and Waller’s Prelude runner-up Loophole ($6.50).
Waller has prepared the past three straight Epsom Handicap winners taking out the mile showdown with Boban (2013), He’s Your Man (2014) and the reigning Cox Plate champion Winx (2015).
To back Sacred Master this Saturday and over his spring campaign at the hottest odds head to Ladbrokes.com.au now!