Lloyd Williams has made a late decision to include veteran stayer Mourayan in the final field for the Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) that will be run at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Mourayan (barrier 14) was expected to contest the Listed The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington but Williams changed the plans for many of his leading stayers and the eight-year-old will now carry the top-weight of 58kg in The Metropolitan.
The Alhaarth entire started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 7 and made up good ground late to finish seventh – indicating that he will relish the step back up to 2400 metres this weekend.
Mourayan will be joined in the Metropolitan by stablemate Seville (barrier nine) who is looking to find his best form after failing to fire so far this preparation.
The son of Galileo failed to beat home a single runner in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) before finishing ninth in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) but is another horse who should improve over a more suitable staying distance.
The Metropolitan betting market will see little change after the barrier draw; with leading fancies Moriarty (barrier one) and Prince Cheri (barrier two) both drawing well.
Chris Waller-trained Moriarty will be stepping back up to 2400 metres for the first time since his victory in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup during the 2013 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and heads into the Metropolitan in excellent form after he won the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) in impressive fashion a fortnight ago.
Waller has three chances to win The Metropolitan for the second time, after his success with The Verminator in 2011; with I’m Imposing (barrier ten) and Lucripetous (barrier five) also included in the final field.
Progressive entire Prince Cheri qualified for his first start at Group 1 level with his wins in the Ranvet Handicap (1500m) and Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) and trainer David Vandyke is hopeful that the son of Lando can earn a start in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) by winning the Metropolitan Handicap this weekend – like Glencadam Gold in 2012.
Other Caulfield Cup hopefuls searching for a weight penalty are the Peter Moody-trained duo of Ibicenco and Sneak A Peek, veteran stayer Ironstein, John O’Shea-trained Kingdoms and Colin Stephen Quality winner Julienas.