Premiership winning trainer Chris Waller will use Saturday’s Group 2 $200,000 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick to sort out the rest of his runners for the Group 1 $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m).
Waller has already confirmed a start for last Saturday’s Kingston Town Stakes winner Silverball in Sydney’s major Autumn Carnival staying feature on October 3 but he is certain to add to the list after Saturday’s weight for age event.
Sydney’s leading trainer has nominated eleven of his team for this week’s Hill Stakes with Waller to decide which ones go onto the Metropolitan or run in the Group 3 $125,000 Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick on the same day.
Beaten Up, Beyond Thankful, Foreteller, Grand Marshall, Hawkspur, I’m Imposing, Junoob, Moriarty, Opinion, Preferment and Who Shot Thebarman will be Waller’s Hill Stakes runners.
“This race will help us work out which horse to send to the Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap and which ones will be kept back for the Group 3 Craven Plate,” Waller told The Daily Telegraph.
“They’re both run on the same day and there’s several options both in Melbourne and Sydney after that.”
Waller said the last year’s Metropolitan winner Opinion is on song to defend his title and will peak for the 2400m on October 3.
“He’s ticking over nicely and is well and truly on track for his defence,” Waller said.
“I think Junoob and Who Shot Thebarman both ran super in the Chelmsford Stakes. Junoob should be close to his peak here third-up.”
“I thought Beaten Up was a bit flat the other day but he did run a big race first-up and quite often we see these stayers go a bit flat second-up after a big fresh run.
“I’m expecting him to bounce back on Saturday.”
Hawkspur is one that Waller said had to perform well this weekend if he is going to take his place in The Metropolitan.
“It’s D-Day for Hawkspur, third-up out to 2000m, there’s no excuses for him this week and he needs to show something,” Waller said.
Waller is also scheming to peak Victoria Derby winner Preferment on Metropolitan Day and said he won’t be at his best until tackles the 2400m.
“He’s coming along really, really well but won’t see the best of him until he gets out to 2400m and with a bit more fitness on his side,” he said.
“I’m Imposing will improve off his first-up run in the Chelmsford Stakes and he’s another one that will appreciate a drier surface if we get one.”
Silverball at $10 and Beaten Up at $11 are Waller’s two highest rated stayers in the Metropolitan market order at Ladbrokeds.com.au with Junoob, Preferment and Who Shot Thebarman all on the $15 mark.
The John O’Shea trained Magic Hurricance heads the market order at $9 following his win in the Listed $100,000 Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill on August 29.