A talented field of fifteen has been confirmed for Saturday’s Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m); highlighted by the inclusion of several previous winners at the highest level of Australian racing.
Trainer Chris Waller saddled Opinion to success in the 2014 edition of the premier Sydney staying race and will likely dominate the running this year after confirming five of his stable’s stars in The Metropolitan final field, including the defending champion, Junoob and Beaten Up.
Posting six wins and a further five minors through 31 career starts so far, Opinion began his racing career under the guidance of Sir Michael Stoute before transferring to the care of Waller partway through the 2013 Spring Carnival.
A strong and consistent performer for Waller through 2014, the son of Oasis Dream won the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) before finishing second in each of the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m), Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) most notably.
Having clearly needed his two runs prior to The Metropolitan, Waller is pleased with Opinion’s condition and is confident he will line up on Saturday in peak condition.
Junoob was initially crowned champion in the 2014 The Metropolitan but was later stripped of the title following a case into race-day treatment.
Also yet to find peak condition this time, Junoob will be partnered by leading kiwi hoop Opie Bosson and will leave from the ideal barrier 3 on Saturday.
Beaten Up has returned to racing in typically good order this time and will be very hard to beat in The Metropolitan despite being charged with carrying a race-high 58kgs.
Running on for a close fourth in the talent-rich Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) on August 22nd, Beaten Up faded late when eighth in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) second-up but relished a step-up in distance when fourth in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) a fortnight ago.
David Vandyke has been understandably thrilled with the results posted by Maurus this year, and is offered a legitimate chance of success in The Metropolitan with the import.
Yet to finish worse than second in seven starts this year, Maurus returned from a brief spell for an impressive win in the Cellarbrations BM75 (1900m) before running on for second in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) last time out.
Maurus has been confirmed to be partnered by in-form hoop Jason Collet and will carry a very manageable 55.5kgs in The Metropolitan.
Dubai import Almoonqith has impressed with three solid performances amongst notable company this time and appears likely to relish a step up to 2400m in The Metropolitan.
A classy Group 3 winner over 2810m at Meydan, Almoonqith ran fifth in the Sweeney Estate Agents Handicap (1500m) on August 22nd; unlucky to be blocked for a run in the Follow The @ Willhillwolf Handicap (2040m) but responded well when sixth in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) a fortnight ago.
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