Sydney’s champion trainer Chris Waller rates the topweight Beaten Up as the class runner in the field for the Group 1 $750,000 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
While Waller isn’t dismissing the chances of his four runners, he said that Beaten Up would win if jockey Glyn Schofield was able to secure the right run in the race.
“Beaten Up, if he settles, he can win the race, “Waller said.
“He has a perfect gate, a good jockey on, Glyn Schofield, to get horses to settle. If he settles, I think he is the class horse of the race.”
As well as Beaten Up, Waller will saddle up Junoob, Opinion and Beyond Thankful in the Metropolitan while Hawkspur has been scratched and will run in the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on Sunday.
2013 Doomben Cup winner Beaten Up has had three Spring Carnival runs to fit him for the Metrolpolitan and has shown glimpse of his best form.
First up Beaten Up was beaten two lengths when fourth to stablemate Royal Descent in the Group 2 $250,000 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 22 and then followed that up with an eighth to Complacent in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 5.
Schofield has been aboard Beaten Up this campaign including his last start fourth to Preferment in the Group 2 $200,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on September 19.
Beaten Up will have no trouble running out a strong 2400m with a win over that distance at Newberry in England as well as running third to Hartnell in the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Waller is not dismissing the chances of his other three runners, giving them all winning hopes if the breaks go their way.
Waller said to forget Junoob’s last start twelfth on a wet track in the Hill Stakes, adding that he is fit and running over a suitable distance.
“He has drawn well, forget last start on a wet track. He is now fit and racing over a suitable distance, he is 2kg above the minimum. I an adamant he can run in the top five and if he can lift he could still win the race,” Waller said.
Waller has Opinion looking in better order than that when he won the Metropolitan last year and can’t fault him at the moment.
“Opinion, won the race last year, barrier ten a little bit awkward. The gate will suit if this track is going to be soft, he is going to come right into it,” Waller said.
“He is flying. He looks better than he did last year and I can’t fault the horse. He is going super this horse.”
Irish import Beyond Thankful is racing in winning form, albeit in weaker company on the provincial circuit, with wins in the Listed $150,000 Carlton Mid Wyong Cup (2080m) at Wyong on September 4 and in the Group 3 $175,000 XXXX Gold Newcastle Cup (2300m) at Newcastle on September 18 as well as two recent city Saturday races.
“What more can you do. Newcastle Cup, Wyong Cup, Premier Cup Prelude. Bad barrier but Hugh Bowman seems to just slot in wherever he wants,” Waller said.
Beaten Up is also the best of Waller’s four Metropolitan runners in the Ladbrokes.com.au market order at $8 with Junoob and Beyond Thankful at $11 and Opinion at $21.
The John O’Shea trained Magic Hurricane is at the top of the betting at $3.90 ahead of Almoonqith at $6.50 and Chance To Dance at $8.50.
The Metropolitan market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.90 Magic Hurricane, $6.50 Almoonqith, $8 Beaten Up, $8.50 Chance To Dance, $11 Junoob, Beyond Thankful, $12 Orbec, $15 Bonfire, Maurus, Havana Cooler, $21 Opinion $26 Kapour, $71 Disclaimer, Ghost Protocol.