A 13-horse field of stayers is set to face off at Randwick Racecourse this weekend in the 2016 The Metropolitan, betting tips and the updated odds on the Epsom Handicap Day clash found below.
Set to jump as Randwick Race 8 at 4:40pm (AEST) as the last of the three elite levels on the line-up, this year’s $750,000 Group 1 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) markets at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by Sir John Hawkwood ($5.50) and Antonio Giuseppe ($6).
There has been little movement in the top half of The Metropolitan betting over the past day with neither the bookies nor the punters able to separate the John Thompson-trained veteran eight-year-old Sir Percy from Chris Waller’s best hope of a third win with Antonio Giuseppe on the quick back-up.
Evergreen warhorse Sir John Hawkwood is second-up after finishing runner-up to McCreery in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) on September 10, while Kiwi import Antonio Giuseppe chases his fifth win on the trot having only just won last Saturday over 2000m at Rosehill.
It’s an open affair for the mile and a half classic this season though and other notable hopes in The Metropolitan odds include Sacred Master ($6.50) coming off a Group 3 Newcastle Cup win, Allergic ($7) who won last weekend’s Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality (2400m) at Rosehill and Waller’s proven two-miler Who Shot Thebarman ($8).
Earlier in the week we published our exclusive 2016 The Metropolitan Form Guide & Betting Preview and based on the facts and stats, below we have our insider tips on who to back and who to sack this weekend.
#2 Storm The Stars ($14)
Double-figure value in one of Waller’s six acceptors, this five-year-old stallion is out to break a winning drought that goes back to August last year as well as his maiden status. He is a Group 2 winner over this distance in Europe, but from five starts down under hasn’t been first past the post. He looks to be finally acclimatising though with back-to-back Randwick thirds this time in behind Hartnell in the Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and Hill Stakes (2000m). He was well beaten by the runaway winner in both, but without Hartnell there to put the big margin on them, Storm The Stars gets his chance getting up to his preferred distance third-up and drops from 59kg at WFA to 55.5kg on the weekend.
#4 Magic Hurricane ($9.50)
Last year’s winner has a hoodoo to overcome if he is to go back-to-back, a feat not achieved since 1983-84. He is in the mix again though with James McDonald in the saddle again, the now seven-year-old four runs into his prep and coming off the fourth in the Hill Stakes. He is down a kilo from his winning weight last year and on 54.5kg from gate three over this distance (3-2-0-1) he is one of the big chances.
#1 Who Shot Thebarman ($8)
History is against Waller’s Sydney and Melbourne Cups placegetter with the 57kg top weight, but the money is coming in hard and fast for the eight-year-old who remains a top three hope. He comes off a second in the Hill Stakes, the form Magic Hurricane brought in to win last year. This dour stayer is best from 2400m – 3200m and gets that distance for the first time here since the Sydney Cup fourth in April. That followed a second in Rosehill’s The BMW over the mile and a half so he’s right in the mix.
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