Just Fine is approaching odds-on territory in The Metropolitan 2023 betting for the staying feature at Royal Randwick this weekend.

Just Fine

Just Fine heads The Metropolitan 2023 betting at Randwick this weekend. Photo: Steve Hart.

The flying Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained import chases his fourth consecutive win and his third from as many starts down under when he lines up as the hot favourite in Saturday’s Group 1 $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) on Epsom Handicap Day.

The Metropolitan field has drawn 18 final acceptors and Sea The Stars six-year-old Just Fine leads the markets at a current quote of $2 through Ladbrokes.

At his latest start at the track on September 16 he carried 55kg to a 1.71 length win in the Group 1 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m).

He comes back to the 50kg minimum this weekend drawn barrier two with Rachel King coming back aboard after she rode him to victory two back for his successful Australian race debut on September 2 over the Randwick mile in a Benchmark 94.

Waterhouse & Bott launch a four-pronged attack on The Metropolitan in 2023 with the hot favourite joined by stablemates Knights Order ($51) who carries the 57.5kg top-weight, the autumn’s Group 1 ATC Derby winner over the mile-and-a-half Major Beel ($13) in gate four with Tim Clark to ride, and the widely-drawn Military Mission ($21) coming off a Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m) victory a fortnight back.

Following Just Fine in The Metropolitan betting meanwhile are the John O’Shea-trained Wyong Gold Cup winner Benaud drawn the rails whose last run was a second in the Kingston Town and Chris Waller’s progressive European import Mr Waterville both at $11 at time of publish.

Waller is another trainer who plays a strong hand in The Metropolitan numbers-wise this spring saddling-up four runners in total as he chases his sixth victory.

Waller has prepared five previous The Metropolitan Handicap winners including No Compromise (2022) last year.

Along with Mr Waterville his other chances this season are Manzoice ($26), Al Aabir ($17), and Wineglass Bay ($51).

Other notable final acceptors chasing an upset include the Kris Lees-trained Irish import Cleveland and consistent grey Bois D’argent for Annable Neasham.

The Metropolitan serves as a key lead-up to Melbourne’s Group 1 $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 21 and is joined on Saturday’s Randwick card by the Group 1 $1.5 million Epsom Handicap (1600m) and the Group 1 $750,000 Flight Stakes (1600m) for the fillies.

2023 The Metropolitan Field & Barriers

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Probable Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 39x8663x00 KNIGHTS ORDER (IRE) Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Adam Hyeronimus 6 57.5kg 109
2 421222×018 NAVAJO PEAK David Payne Chad Schofield 15 55.5kg 105
3 1226x50x49 CLEVELAND (IRE) Kris Lees Damien Oliver 13 54.5kg 103
4 x11421x026 MAJOR BEEL (NZ) Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Tim Clark 5 54.5kg 103
5 3×53152326 BOIS D’ARGENT (GB) Annabel Neasham Dylan Gibbons (a) 10 53.5kg 101
6 0x6x824193 HOSIER (IRE) Mark Minervini Jason Collett 17 53kg 101
7 281x860x80 MANZOICE Chris Waller Michael Dee 7 53kg 100
8 233×652332 SPIRIT RIDGE (GB) Annabel Neasham Regan Bayliss 14 52.5kg 101
9 381124×009 HO HO KHAN (NZ) Mitchell Freedman Ms Tahlia Hope 12 52.5kg 100
10 921213x3L7 KALAPOUR (IRE) Kris Lees Kerrin McEvoy 3 52.5kg 99
11 601x060x00 TORRENS Marc Chevalier Ms Jenny Duggan 11 52kg 97
12 9946581012 BENAUD John O’Shea Ms Jamie Kah 1 51.5kg 102
13 95319×9201 MILITARY MISSION (IRE) Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Zac Lloyd (a) 18 51.5kg 1.5kg 100
14 x386061x11 JUST FINE (IRE) Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Ms Rachel King 2 50kg 105
15 22317×4672 AL AABIR (IRE) Chris Waller Jay Ford 8 50kg 50.5kg 95
16 61154×7212 FUTURE HISTORY (GB) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace 16 50kg 94
17 2312x18x74 MR WATERVILLE (IRE) Chris Waller Tyler Schiller 9 50kg 84
18 4216×42215 WINEGLASS BAY (IRE) Chris Waller Ms Kathy O’Hara 4 50kg 82

Table Credit: Racing Australia. 

About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the horseracing.com.au team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.