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Kris Lees’ last start Newcastle Cup winner Mugatoo is clear favourite in The Metropolitan 2020 betting at Royal Randwick this weekend to extend his winning streak to four on the trot.
One of three elite level Sydney Spring Racing Carnival features taking place on Saturday’s Epsom Handicap Day card, the Group 1 $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) is set to run with a capacity field of 18.
The starting line-up already includes the first two emergencies with Norway (20) and Attention Run (1) drawn at opposite ends of the field for Chris Waller and Lees respectively.
They take the places of Lord Belvedere and Shared Ambition who have been withdrawn in favour of a Melbourne run in Flemington’s Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2510m) instead.
Drawn well in gate seven for Kerrin McEvoy, the in-form Henrythenavigator six-year-old comes off three consecutive wins this prep.
Lightly-raced for his age having won eight of his 14 starts, two back he saluted in Rosehill’s Group 3 Premiers’ Cup (1900m) before a last start win at home in the Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m).
Mugatoo carried 59kg to victory that day with McEvoy in the saddle and comes back to 57kg for his rise in grade on the weekend.
Lees also saddles-up the topweight Mustajeer (58kg) with Hugh Bowman to partner the autumn’s Tancred Stakes runner-up, Raheen House ($51) and the aforementioned Attention Run ($26) drawn the rails.
Grey Hurricane Run mare Attention Run comes off a third to her stablemate in the Newcastle Cup from September 18 and drops from 54kg to just 50kg in the rematch.
Newcastle horseman Lees is after his first success in the event since County Tyrone back in 2004, while Mugatoo’s jockey McEvoy is yet to ride a The Metropolitan winner.
Waller has dominated the recent The Metropolitan results with four wins in the past decade including the past two straight with Patrick Erin (2018) and Come Play With Me (2019).
The 10-time Sydney Premiership winning trainer is in with four remaining hopefuls, including the aforementioned triple-figure roughie Norway ($101), with his contingent led in betting by Brimham Rocks ($8).
To be ridden by last year’s winning hoop Brenton Avdulla, Brimham Rocks looks well-weighted on 53.5kg with the Fastnet Rock seven-year-old coming off a third in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) from September 19.
While he drops in weight and should appreciate the extra distance, the galloper is yet to win from a dozen previous runs at the Randwick track.
Despite the size of the field, the only other runners at single-figure The Metropolitan odds this season are the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Newcastle Cup runner-up Hush Writer ($7.50) and Zebrowski ($9.50) for Hawkes Racing.
Hush Writer, winner of the Newcastle Gold Cup in 2019, was close in his ultimately unsuccessful title defence behind Mugatoo last start and is out to turn the tables presenting fit third-up on Saturday.
Zebrowski meanwhile will be charging along carrying only 50kg as the Savabeel four-year-old looks to improve on his close fourth in the Kingston Town Stakes last start.
2020 The Metropolitan Field
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||60x1225x00||MUSTAJEER (GB)||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||5||58kg||109|
|2||x11126x111||MUGATOO (IRE)||Kris Lees||Kerrin McEvoy||7||57kg||1.0kg||110|
|3||0x03643x74||MIRAGE DANCER (GB)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Nash Rawiller||3||55.5kg||107|
|4||730x117x67||WU GOK||Chris Waller||Sam Clipperton||13||55kg||106|
|5||60x6613x50||RAHEEN HOUSE (IRE)||Kris Lees||Jason Collett||12||54.5kg||105|
|6||746416341x||ETAH JAMES (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Regan Bayliss||6||53.5kg||107|
|7||1x3103x092||SHARED AMBITION (IRE)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||19||53.5kg||54kg||104|
|8||02x7691x83||BRIMHAM ROCKS (GB)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||16||53.5kg||103|
|9||16x7000x32||HUSH WRITER (JPN)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||2||53kg||102|
|10||141x7811x1||LORD BELVEDERE (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ms Kathy O’Hara||10||52.5kg||101|
|11||2x0352x678||CARIF||Peter & Paul Snowden||Robbie Dolan||9||52.5kg||99|
|12||28x376x695||RONDINELLA (NZ)||John O’Shea||Ms Rachel King||15||51.5kg||103|
|13||895756×259||ANGEL OF TRUTH||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||11||51.5kg||52.5kg||98|
|14||5313770×70||AZURO (FR)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ms Louise Day (a)||21||51.5kg||97|
|15||1123×00114||PATHS OF GLORY (GB)||Richard & Michael Freedman||Ms Kathy O’Hara (late alt)||17||50.5kg||97|
|16||7×08787256||GIRL TUESDAY||Clarry Conners||Glen Boss||22||50kg||52kg||98|
|17||0504150×00||MISS SENTIMENTAL (NZ)||Chris Waller||Ms Jess Taylor||18||50kg||98|
|18||6x1122x804||ZEBROWSKI (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James Innes Jnr||4||50kg||97|
|19e||31x7836x05||NORWAY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Ms Alysha Collett||20||50.5kg||96|
|20e||x507x19253||ATTENTION RUN (GER)||Kris Lees||Andrew Gibbons||1||50kg||96|
|21e||533499×000||SIR CHARLES ROAD||Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott||8||51kg||96|
|22e||0880×08303||GREY LION (IRE)||Matthew Smith||14||50kg||96|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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