Trainer Chris Waller is set to dominate the final field for the 2014 Metropolitan (2400m), nominating a total of 22 stayers amongst a talented field of 87 for the Group 1 at Royal Randwick on October 4th.
Including several exciting prospects such as in-form pair Hoylonny and Made To Order, Waller will arguably be offered the greatest chance of success in the 2014 Metropolitan by his proven performers in distance and class, namely Hawkspur, Moriarty, Weary and Who Shot Thebarman.
Securing a total of seven wins and as many minor places from 31 competitive starts so far, Hawkspur won the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m), and while touted as a serious contender over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, was unable to completely live up to the hype that followed his preparation from event to event.
Also included in nominations for the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) on Super Saturday, Waller will use form and condition leading into October 4th to settle on a target for the Purrealist gelding.
Beginning his racing career under the guidance of leading British trainer Richard Hannon, Moriarty has been a strong and consistent performer since arriving in the care of Waller at the beginning of 2012.
Performing to a typically high standard through the 2013 Spring Carnival, the Clodovil gelding placed a credible fifth in The Metropolitan, progressing to a far-fought third in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on November 2nd.
Returning in 2014 for a long and competitive nine race preparation in black type company through autumn and winter, Moriarty again made a decent account of himself; winning the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) on May 31st most notably.
Failing to finish outside the places over five starts in what was his maiden Australian preparation, talented French import Weary closed his autumn campaign second in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m), but has seemingly needed a few competitive starts to find his feet this time in; finishing fifth in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) first-up on August 9th and sixth in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) on August 23rd.
Stamping his claims as one to watch with six race wins and two minor places from just eleven competitive starts so far, Who Shot Thebarman was a standout performer in his native New Zealand over the spring of 2013 and autumn of 2014, finishing second in the Group 3 Manawatu Cup (2300m) before winning both the Group 2 Avondale Gold Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) most notably on March 5th.
Godolphin is set to be offered three good chances of success in the 2014 Metropolitan Handicap, with trainer John O’Shea nominating stable mates Deliberate, Gallatin and Tupac Amaru for the Randwick Group 1.
Contesting just five competitive starts so far, Deliberate is the unknown force leading into the 2014 Metropolitan, but will earn a position in the race’s final field if capable of finding winning black type form through September.
Also included in nominations for the 2014 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18th, Gallatin quickly built to the task over a strong and consistent autumn, winning the Group 2 Nathan Berry Tulloch Stakes (2000m) before finishing a credible sixth in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) on April 12th.
Arguably offering O’Shea his best chance of success in the 2014 Metropolitan, Tupac Amaru charged home to finish second in the Australian Derby before placing sixth behind Melbourne Cup favourite The Offer in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on day 2 of The Championships.