A less-than capacity field of sixteen classy stayers have been confirmed for this weekend’s Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by several leading racing prospects leading into both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
Requiring victory to guarantee a position in the 2014 Caulfield Cup, trainer David Hayes has confirmed Spillway in the final field for the 2014 Metropolitan Handicap.
Securing a commendable total of four wins and five minor places from just 16 competitive starts so far, Spillway began his racing career under the guidance of British trainer Eve Johnson Houghton before transferring to the care of Hayes at the conclusion of 2013.
Steadily building to the task over three starts through autumn highlighted by a strong victory in the Group 3 Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m) on April 26th, the Rail Link entire was unlucky to finish second in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) first-up before finishing a credible fourth in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) on September 13th.
While unable to figure in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) just one week after the Makybe Diva, Hayes is confident the step up to 2400m and barrier 9 will see a return to the winner’s circle and maiden Group 1 title for Spillway in The Metropolitan.
Trainer Chris Waller is set to dominate the running of the Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap, accepting positions in the final field for five of his stables stars including Junoob, Bagman and Our Voodoo Prince.
Claiming ten wins and eight minor places from his 30 competitive appearances on course so far, Junoob has secured several impressive results in 2014 already and is arguably offered his best chance of Group 1 glory in The Metropolitan.
Finishing third in the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) on March 1st, the Haafhd gelding charged home to win the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m) before repeating the dose in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) just two weeks later.
Returning to the paddock after finishing a fighting third in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m), Junoob has steadily built to the task over three starts this time in and will carry winning form into the 2014 Metropolitan after taking out the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) on September 20th.
Arguably hitting peak condition over his current preparation, Bagman will have to overcome the relatively wide and awkward barrier 12 in the 2014 Metropolitan, but is sure to be boosted by leading jockey Hugh Bowman.
Winning each of the Valley Handicap Open (2000m) and Badge Appeal Handicap (2000m) through August, the Easy Rocking gelding made a successful transition back to black type racing in his two most recent starts; finishing third in both the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and Hill Stakes.
Yet to find peak condition over three starts this time in, Our Voodoo Prince is sure to be offered an exceptional ride by renowned Hong Kong-based jockey Joao Moreira in the 2014 Metropolitan Handicap.
Beginning his racing career under the guidance of British trainer Ed Dunlop before transferring to the care of Waller at the conclusion of 2013, the Kingmambo gelding secured three wins from as many starts over his maiden Australian racing campaign in autumn, highlighted by the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) on April 19th.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best odds on the 2014 Metropolitan, for which Spillway features as outright $4.40 favourite from Junoob and La Amistad; currently sharing the second line of betting at $7 odds.
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2014 Metropolitan Handicap Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||131143×861||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||3||58kg||108|
|2||x002431133||BAGMAN||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||12||58kg||105|
|3||44x781x247||SPILLWAY (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||James McDonald||9||57.5kg||104|
|4||612262×050||OPINION (IRE)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||14||56kg||101|
|5||234×746845||TRAVOLTA (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Joshua Parr||2||56kg||100|
|6||523664×072||BRIGANTIN (USA)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||11||55.5kg||100|
|7||x08111x374||LA AMISTAD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Corey Brown||6||55.5kg||100|
|8||34x111x938||OUR VOODOO PRINCE (GB)||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||8||55.5kg||100|
|9||34x0313x76||ARALDO (GB)||Michael Moroney||Jeff Lloyd||16||55.5kg||98|
|10||06017×1252||KINGDOMS (NZ)||Brian Smith||Larry Cassidy||5||55.5kg||98|
|11||42x5712x43||WISH COME TRUE (IRE)||Peter G Moody||Tim Clark||4||55.5kg||98|
|12||8140×32631||DEANE MARTIN (NZ)||Bruce Wallace||Chris Munce||10||55.5kg||97|
|13||x5x49x4051||DISCLAIMER (GB)||Peter & Paul Snowden||Christian Reith||15||55.5kg||97|
|14||x30926x090||TUPAC AMARU||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||13||55.5kg||96|
|15||x475601652||IGGI POP (NZ)||John Sargent||Jim Byrne||1||55.5kg||95|
|16||x993008136||KHALID (GB)||Paul Perry||–||7||55.5kg||70|