The 2017 Metropolitan Form Guide is essential reading for novice punters and racing fans ahead of the Group 1 stayers’ race at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Twelve horses will step out in The Metropolitan field and we have analysed every runner in detail, in order to help you find the winner.
The Metropolitan is an open affair from a betting perspective, with the likes of Libran, Antonio Giuseppe, Big Duke and Life Less Ordinary all carrying genuine claims into the race.
Libran will carry winning form into The Metropolitan and is drawn to get a dream run in transit from barrier 3. The Lawman gelding was the star stayer of the 2016 Autumn Carnival, but he ran into wet tracks throughout the season this year and failed to make much of an impact. Resuming this time for sixth in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m), Libran was rated little chance of winning the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) a fortnight ago, but mustered an impressive turn of foot in the final straight at Randwick to win the race by close to two lengths. A step up to a mile and a half is ideal and Libran should prove extremely difficult to beat once more, with Glyn Schofield in the saddle.
Who Shot Thebarman
Veteran stayer Who Shot Thebarman appears to have returned to racing in typically competitive form this time and is not without a chance of winning The Metropolitan. A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2014 edition of the Auckland Cup (3200m), the Yamanin Vital gelding resumed in autumn for third in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and while failing to fire in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m), ran fourth in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) and second in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m). The horse has so-far finished ninth in the Chelmsford Stakes and fourth in the Kingston Town Stakes this time, will relish a return to 2400m and has the notable advantage of Hugh Bowman in the saddle for his run in The Metropolitan.
Wyong Cup winner Destiny’s Kiss has been reasonably inconsistent this time and he could need to find his best if he is to break into The Metropolitan first three. Destiny’s Kiss was freshened-up after he ran third in the Listed Winter Cup (2400m) on July 1st and resumed for a credible fourth in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1900m) on August 26th, before storming home to beat a classy field in the Listed Wyong Cup (2100m) less-than a week later. The horse failed to run on when fifth in the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) last time out and the fact that Hugh Bowman jumps out of the saddle and onto a rival suggests that he may think the nine-year-old has reached the end of his campaign.
One of two Macedon Lodge horses in The Metropolitan field, Amralah has been charged with overcoming the outside barrier, but will carry only 55kgs and is a chance of running on in the final straight, with the right run in transit. The Teofilo entire spent close to two years in the paddock after winning the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) and while yet to show much through three starts this season, will be at peak fitness for The Metropolitan.
Big Duke has yet to find his best form this time in, but on class and ability alone he could win The Metropolitan on Saturday, particularly with in-form hoop Brenton Avdulla aboard, a relief in weights and from an ideal draw. The Raven’s Pass gelding was a standout through the Autumn Carnival, posting consecutive wins in the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m), Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m) and Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) before finishing his campaign third in the Sydney Cup. Fifth in a pair of mile races in Melbourne to begin his spring campaign, Big Duke failed to produce much when tenth in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last weekend.
Antonio Giuseppe is undoubtedly one of the class horses of The Metropolitan field and he will take plenty of beating in the feature race. Second to Sir John Hawkwood in last year’s edition of the Group 1 race for stayers, the Shocking gelding was kept to light duties through the Autumn Carnival this year, but resumed in August for a credible fifth in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m). Fourth in the Chelmsford Stakes, Antonio Giuseppe hit the line well for second in the Kingston Town Stakes a fortnight ago and should go extremely close from barrier 4 and with Joao Moreira in the saddle.
Kiwi raider Chocante failed to fire in the Kingston Town Stakes, but he will enjoy a step up to 2400m and would not look out of place in the finish of The Metropolitan. A strong and consistent performer in his native New Zealand, Chocante made his Australian debut during the recent Brisbane Winter Carnival; running third in the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) and winning the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) most notably. Running on well to finish third in the Chelmsford Stakes at his first start this time, Chocante will have several early options from the rails draw, will carry only 54.5kgs and will be partnered by in-form hoop Corey Brown.
Broadside has returned to competitive form recently and is a live chance of finishing in The Metropolitan first three. Broadside was dominant through the winter months but somewhat fell out of form on his way to and out of a freshen-up; finishing eighth in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1900m) on August 26th. Having returned to winning form in the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) on September 15th, the Raise The Flag gelding ran third in last weekend’s Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality (2400m) and should be primed for a second run at a mile and a half.
Life Less Ordinary
Less Less Ordinary has somewhat flown under the radar since arriving in Australia, but has produced several outstanding performances and results, and is primed for a big run in The Metropolitan. Failing to finish worse than second through three starts in autumn, the Thewayyouare gelding ran second to Comin’ Through in the Broccolini BM90 (1400m) on August 19th and has since run fifth in the Chelmsford Stakes and third in the Kingston Town Stakes. Kerrin McEvoy retains the ride and will jump from barrier 11.
Foundry has only been kept to light duties throughout the last two years and the evergreen veteran has subsequently returned to the races in competitive form this time. Resuming from close to a year out of action at Caulfield on August 19th, the Galileo gelding savaged the line to finish a close second in the Ramlegh Springs On Clyde Handicap (1600m), before finishing a credible fourth in the LF Sign Group Handicap (2040m) on September 9th. A step up to 2400m is ideal, but the horse is yet to have a jockey confirmed for The Metropolitan.
Loresho is something of an unknown quantity in The Metropolitan field, but has form around several outstanding horses this time in and is potentially over the odds at his current quote. The Halling entire worked to the line well to finish fourth in The Nursery Handicap (2000m) on August 5th and took plenty of improvement into his third-place finish in the McMahon’s Dairy Handicap (2500m) on August 26th. Mustering a smart turn of foot to finish fifth behind Almandin in the Listed JRA Trophy (2500m) last time out, Loresho should find a good position off pace form a wide draw and will be looking to run on in the dying stages of The Metropolitan.
Queensland raider My Diamantine has returned to racing in outstanding form this year, but she would need to muster a career-best performance to win The Metropolitan. Second in both the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) and Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) through July, the Eighth Wonder mare resumed from a freshen-up with a smart win in the Kennedy’s Timbers Handicap (1615m), before running third in the Ipswich Spring Stayers Cup (2150m) last weekend.