The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Chris Waller’s airborne seven-year-old Durston is clear favourite to keep the wins coming in Saturday’s 2022 The Metropolitan field at Royal Randwick.
Waller chases his fifth success in the Group 1 $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) and saddles-up seven of the 15 runners in this year’s field.
His latest victories in the mile and a half feature came back-to-back with Patrick Erin (2018) and Come Play With Me (2019).
Of the Waller contingent, Durston is the best fancied heading The Metropolitan betting markets at $3.60 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Sea The Moon gelding, formerly with the Maher/Eustace stable, comes off back-to-back wins this campaign by a combined margin of over four lengths.
Two back he won the Listed Wyong Cup (2100m) before a big victory in the Group 3 Newcastle Golde Cup (2300m) on September 16.
He drops back from 55.5kg to 53kg, even with his 2kg penalty and jumps from a midfield gate eight draw with Kerrin McEvoy riding.
Waller’s other shortest-priced hope in the markets at $8 is the widely-drawn Surefire in barrier 13.
The Fastnet Rock five-year-old has won five of his 11 starts and comes off back-to-back fifths at the track, the latest behind Alegron in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m), with improvement likely getting up to the mile and a half.
Also representing Waller in this year’s The Metropolitan field are No Compromise ($13), Hameron ($17), Chalk Stream ($19), the rails-drawn Queensland Derby winner Kukeracha ($41) and Francesco Guardi ($14) in the outside alley.
The other single-figure chance in the markets meanwhile is the Joe Pride-trained 56.5kg topweight Stockman ($7.50).
Stockman is a six-year-old son of Tavistock chasing his first win since the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill back in March.
He was good next-up after that when second to Duais in Newcastle’s Group 1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) and is fourth-up and fit this weekend off a fourth in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m).
Other notable hopes in the mix include the winter’s runaway Caloundra Cup winner Le Don De Vie ($12) to be ridden by James McDonald from gate three, the fellow Maher/Eustace-trained Mankayan ($13) coming off a Newcastle Cup fifth and the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Grove Ferry ($13) on the quick back-up off his Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality win last weekend.
The notable omission from The Metropolitan final field was John O’Shea’s classy four-year-old Benaud who was second favourite in all-in markets.
The ATC Derby runner-up and last start Kingston Town Stakes second placed grey was a forced non-acceptor after being accidently treated with a prohibited substance on Tuesday morning.
“Mr O’Shea has informed Stewards that Benaud was inadvertently treated with a medication this morning containing a prohibited substance and therefore is unable to compete in the event,” NSW stewards reported.
2022 The Metropolitan Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||4x0127x964||STOCKMAN (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Sam Clipperton||4||56.5kg||107|
|2||x5054x1017||LE DON DE VIE (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||James McDonald||3||56kg||106|
|3||7x61306x89||KUKERACHA (NZ)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||1||55kg||103|
|4||4127217123||ARAPAHO (FR)||Bjorn Baker||Ms Rachel King||11||54.5kg||103|
|5||2214×11215||MANKAYAN (IRE)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Jason Collett||12||54.5kg||103|
|6||332510×536||NO COMPROMISE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||5||53.5kg||100|
|7||8x4x1x7011||DURSTON (GB)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||8||53kg||2.0kg||103|
|8||60x6160x94||SACRAMENTO||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||9||53kg||99|
|9||11x120x155||SUREFIRE (GB)||Chris Waller||William Pike||13||52kg||98|
|10||251x006x03||REALM OF FLOWERS||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Reece Jones (a)||10||51kg||100|
|11||7635×89241||GROVE FERRY (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ms Winona Costin||14||51kg||96|
|12||7470×69962||CARIF||Peter & Paul Snowden||Andrew Adkins||6||51kg||93|
|13||21×6112328||FRANCESCO GUARDI (IRE)||Chris Waller||Ms Alysha Collett||15||51kg||93|
|14||112x730x04||CHALK STREAM (GB)||Chris Waller||Ms Kathy O’Hara||2||51kg||90|
|15||1221×133||HAMERON (GB)||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||7||51kg||77|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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