The John O’Shea-trained Colin Stephen Quality winner from last Saturday Allergic has escaped a weight penalty for his quick back-up into The Metropolitan this weekend at Royal Randwick.
The Street Cry five-year-old won the ballot free ride in the $750,000 Group 1 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) on Epsom Handicap Day with his Rosehill success in the Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality (2400m) over the same distance.
Improving on a third to McCreery in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) the run before, the gelding relished the increased metres and defeated Junoob by a quarter-length with James McDonald in the saddle.
Allergic will drop from his 58kg winning weight on Golden Pendant Day to just 50.5kg in The Metropolitan field and looks a livewire lightweight chance in the race for Godolphin.
O’Shea chases his third The Metropolitan win after success with Bedouin (2003) and Magic Hurricane (2015) last Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.
The last The Metropolitan winner to back directly up off a Colin Stephen Quality run meanwhile was the Gai Waterhouse-trained Herculian Prince (5th in 2010) six years ago.
Only one champion of the staying showdown has carried less than 51kg to victory since Balciano (50.5kg in 2987) meanwhile with Hula Flight (1996) also prepared by Waterhouse who boasts a total seven wins in The Metropolitan Handicap.
Allergic currently sits as a $10 chance in the pre-field The Metropolitan betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Last year’s The Metropolitan winning jockey McDonald still needs convincing Allergic can back-up into the Group 1 after a tough run on a firm track in the Colin Stephen.
“He got the job done but it wasn’t convincing,” he told Racenet.
“He didn’t feel like he’s felt before. I think a firm track will pull him up quite dramatically.”
McDonald won’t be aboard Allergic on Saturday, the hoop unable to get down to the weight, with O’Shea booking apprentice Michael Dee for the ride.
Also escaping a weight penalty for the Group 1 after a Rosehill win last Saturday is the Chris Waller-trained Antonio Giuseppe who is the current $6 all-in third favourite.
Waller’s four-year-old son of Shocking is weighted just 50kg and made it four wins on the trot in the first last weekend beating home More To Gain over 2000m by nearly three lengths with 59kg on his back.
Apprentice Koby Jennings was aboard for the ride and gave a glowing report on the former Kiwi-trained improver who has now won five of his eight starts all in non-Black Type company.
“He went awesome, I haven’t had one feel like that for a while,” he said.
“He’s a serious horse over 2000 [metres] plus.
“At the top of the straight all I did was drop my hands and the rest was all him. He’s a powerhouse.”
Waller has won two of the past five editions of The Metropolitan with The Verminator (2011) and Opinion (2014) and also has the current $4.80 favourite Sacred Master in the mix on 52kg.
The five-year-old Mastercraftsman gelding was last seen winning the Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2200m) on September 16 with 56.5kg on his back.
Futures market order for The Metropolitan Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au (Top 5): Sacred Master ($4.80), Sir John Hawkwood ($5.50), Antonio Giuseppe ($6), Allergic ($10), Who Shot Thebarman ($10).