Thirteen stayers will line up for the 2016 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday; offering punters exceptional value from a betting standpoint and several key opportunities to place a winning wager.
Sir John Hawkwood has firmed into outright $5.50 favouritism in 2016 The Metropolitan betting markets with Ladbrokes.com.au, ahead of Antonio Giuseppe ($6) and Sacred Master ($6.50).
Will Sir John Hawkwood justify favouritism and win the 2016 The Metropolitan, or will one of his talented rivals post an upset?
Who Shot Thebarman ($7.50)
The conditions of The Metropolitan are cut out for Who Shot Thebarman, who enters the race in excellent condition and has the notable advantage of Hugh Bowman in the saddle. A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2014 edition of the Auckland Cup (3200m), the Yamanin Vital gelding posted a number of typically smart results through the recent Autumn Carnival; highlighted by a close second in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m). Having placed sixth in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and fifth in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) upon resuming this time, Who Shot Thebarman charged home for second in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) last time out and will relish a step up to a mile on a half on Saturday.
Sacred Master ($6.50)
Sacred Master carries winning form into The Metropolitan and should receive a great run from a wide draw with only 53kgs in tow. Capping an impressive New Zealand tenure third in this year’s edition of the Auckland Cup, the Mastercraftsman gelding ran eighth in his first two starts upon arriving in Australia, but has since finished second in the Listed Wyong Cup (2100m) and won the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2200m). Tommy Berry will take the ride on Sacred Master and could be the difference in success.
Sir John Hawkwood ($6.50)
Sir John Hawkwood has been a typically smart performer this year and should be right in the finish of The Metropolitan. Winner of the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) in March, the Sir Percy gelding progressed to third in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) and second in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2000m) before ending his campaign second in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m). Having returned this time for second in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m), Sir John Hawkwood will be partnered by regular hoop Blake Spriggs from gate 6.
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