John O’Shea is convinced Godolphin has the important angles covered in the Metropolitan, even if rival trainer Chris Waller has the numbers.
O’Shea will send imports Magic Hurricane and Havana Cooler into the Sydney spring carnival’s premier race for stayers as they face the biggest test of their short Australian careers.
And while O’Shea has no doubt Magic Hurricane is a deserved favourite, he can mount a solid case for Havana Cooler to run well at double figures for leading Hong Kong jockey Joao Moreira.
“His price probably doesn’t justify the chance he is in the race,” O’Shea said.
“If you go back to his first run here he should have beaten Beyond Thankful who has gone on to win the Wyong Cup and the Newcastle Cup.”
Havana Cooler looked the best of good things beaten when a closing sixth to Beyond Thankful in a Rosehill 1800m race and not much as gone right for the six-year-old since.
“He had an aberration at Wyong and we just had to get him back into the game a week later and get him on a good track.
“He was much better at Rosehill (in the Kingston Town Stakes) where he ran the fastest last furlong of the day even though he finished sixth.
“He’s desperate for a big track and a mile-and-a-half which he gets on Saturday and Moreira will give him a gun run.”
O’Shea believes no horse in the field can match Magic Hurricane for form after his close second to quality stayer Preferment in the weight-for-age Hill Stakes a fortnight ago.
He said Magic Hurricane peaked on his finish at Randwick at his first start since his win in the Premier’s Cup at the end of August.
“The horse probably did a bit well between runs going into the Hill Stakes … and it just told,” O’Shea said.
The stable’s No.1 rider James McDonald is on Magic Hurricane and O’Shea expects the jockey to give the $3.80 favourite the best run in the race.
“He gets the chance to be put to sleep out of the gate,” O’Shea said.
Beaten Up, who took the minor placing behind Godolphin’s Hartnell in this year’s BMW, is the most fancied of Waller’s four runners.
The eight-year-old ran arguably just as well as Magic Hurricane in the Hill Stakes, covering a lot of ground to get outside the leader before being beaten a length when just outside the placings.