Chris Waller’s Kiwi import Antonio Giuseppe headlines the 2016 The Metropolitan odds for the staying clash in Sydney on Saturday despite stepping up to stakes company for the first time at Royal Randwick.
Waller, who won the race with The Verminator (2011) and Opinion (2014), saddles up six of the 13 final acceptors for this year’s edition of the $750,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan Handicap (2400m).
Drawn barrier five, which last produced a The Metropolitan winner with Heart Ruler (1997), is the current $4.80 favourite in The Metropolitan betting at Ladbrokes.com.au Antonio Giuseppe.
The nicely-bred four-year-old son of 2009 Melbourne Cup winner Shocking has won five of his eight career starts to date, including his past four on the trot in Sydney.
All of his runs in both New Zealand and down under with champion horseman Waller have been in non-stakes class however.
After carting 59kg to a big 2.8 length win at Rosehill in a Benchmark 78 over 2000m last Saturday, Waller throws Antonio Giuseppe in the deep end this weekend.
Not only does the galloper see his first Black-Type field, he runs in Group 1 company and has his first start over the mile and a half.
In a plus he drops notably in weight getting in on the 51kg minimum, jockey Glen Boss coming aboard shooting for his third winning ride after previous The Metropolitan victories on Electronic (1995) and Bedouin (2003).
Two favourites in The Metropolitan betting have saluted in the past four years and following this year’s top fancy in the markets is the John Thompson-trained Sir John Hawkwood ($5.50).
He jumps one on the outside of Antonio Giuseppe in barrier six, which recently produced back-to-back The Metropolitan champs with Speed Gifted (2009) and Herculian Prince (2010).
A veteran son of Sir Percy, Sir John Hawkwood is out to make history as the first eight-year-old winner of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival classic in over 30 years.
He has finished top three in his past eight starts going back to November last year, including his first-up second to McCreery in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) on September 10 in his debut for Thompson.
In flying form, Sir John Hawkwood is out over 2400m for the first time since his close second in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup in the winter and has plenty of form over the distance (6-2-2-0) ahead of his first Group 1 assignment.
A further three gallopers are under $10 for the win including Sacred Master ($7) for Waller drawn out in barrier 12 with the 2012 (Glencadam Gold) winning hoop Tommy Berry in the saddle.
Sacred Master carries 53kg on the weekend, coming back from the 56.5kg he had on his back last start on September 16 winning the Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2200m).
The other single figure fancies are last Saturday’s Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality (2400m) winner at Rosehill Allergic ($8) on the quick back-up for last year’s winning trainer John O’Shea, and Waller’s Melbourne Cup placegetter and early market mover Who Shot Thebarman ($11 into ($9.50) coming off a Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) second to Hartnell.
See below for the latest The Metropolitan 2016 betting odds, fixed win prices open online now at Ladbrokes.com.au – the original home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).