THE METROPOLITAN HANDICAP
Group One, $750,000, handicap
* First held at Randwick in 1866 as the Great Metropolitan Stakes over two miles (3200m).
* Now a 2400m race worth $750,000.
* Among the earliest winners was the Ettienne de Mestre-trained Tim Whiffler (1867) who would be the first horse to claim the Metropolitan-Melbourne Cup double in the the same year. Not until Delta in 1951 could another horse complete the double but three others quickly followed – Dalray (1952), Straight Draw (1957) and Macdougal (1959).
THIS YEAR’S FIELD
* Trainer Chris Waller has six runners in the 13-horse field including race favourite Antonio Giuseppe.
* John Thompson-trained Sir John Hawkwood is also a contender in his second run for the stable.
* Waller-trained Junoob will try to win this year’s race as a nine-year-old. Junoob was stripped of his 2014 Metropolitan after testing positive to the diuretic Frusemide (Lasix).
* Godolphin-trained Magic Hurricane is aiming to become a dual winner alongside Mooltan (1907-1908), Murray Stream (1945, 1947), Tails (1969-1970) and Hayai (1983-84).
“I think you can make a case for most of our horses in it and that’s the beauty of handicap racing” – Trainer Chris Waller on his six runners.
“He’s a horse you know is going to give you 150 per cent. He’s going to be in the finish but what placing I don’t know” – Sir John Hawkwood’s trainer John Thompson.
“He did a terrific piece of work last week and has a fantastic chance of repeating last year’s win” – Godolphin Australia managing director Henry Plumptre on Magic Hurricane.