French import Silverball will have his final Metropolitan warm up in the Group 3 $125,000 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Silverball is one of seventeen horses trainer Chris Waller has nominated for the Group 1 $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 3 as he is searching to win the major staying race for the Sydney Spring Carnival for the second year in succession.
Waller took out the Metropolitan last year but not without plenty of drama surrounding the result.
The premiership winning trainer saddled up the first two horses across the line but Junoob, who was placed in first spot, was later disqualified, giving the race to his stablemate Opinion.
The English import returned a positive swab to the prohibited substance frusemide and he was subsequently disqualified with Waller also receiving a $30,000 fine.
Silverball began his career in France before spending almost two years in Hong Kong before entering the Waller stable in at the beginning of 2015.
Three of Silverball’s six race wins have been under the Waller banner with back to back victories during the Autumn in a 1600m BenchMark 80 Handicap at Warwick followed by a win a 1600m Handicap at Flemington.
Two runs later the the six year old won the Listed $100,000 Fujitsu Air Lord Mayors Cup (2000m) at Rosehill on May 9 before being sent for a short break.
Silverball resumed for the Spring with a sixth to Centre Pivot in the $85,000 Spring Preview (1400m) at Rosehill on August 15 followed by a second to the John O’Shea trained Magic Hurricane in the Listed $100,000 Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill on August 29.
“He’s come out of his last start in good condition and after Saturday he’ll go three weeks into the Metrop, which looks a nice progression for him,” Waller told The Daily Telegraph.
Waller has also nominated Hawkspur for the Kingston Town Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday and the six year old is also among the entries for the Metropolitan.
Hawkspur has failed to find any form from two runs this campaign with an eleventh to stablemate Royal Descent in the Group 2 $250,000 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 22 followed by an eleventh to Complacent in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick last Saturday.
In early betting for the Metropolitan with Ladbrokes.com.au, Silverball is listed as a $15 chance while Hawkspur is at the longer odds of $26.