Duke’s Big chance
FORGET Big Duke’s 10 th of 15th finish in last weekend’ s Naturalism Stake sat Caul field, he’s ready to perform on Saturday in the $750,000 Group 1 The Metropol itan (2 4 0m) at Randw ick.
That’ s the opinion of his star jockey Brenton Avdu l la, who said a successful formula last preparation should peak him at his pet distance tomorrow.
The six-year-old ran super in tree Sydney starts in the autumn with wins in the Man ion Cup, Chairman’ s Handicap and a fast finishing third in the Sydney Cup.
Av dull a knows rainer Darren Weir has him primed for the 2400 m–a distance he’s only lost over once in three starts.
That was second-place finish in the Hobart Cup, which Av dull a rode him in.
“He probably should beun defeated at the 2400 m so I’m looking forward to riding him ,” he said.
“His first couple of run st is prep were good and even though he was probably a bit plain last Saturday this hasl ways been t target for him.
“I’ve won plenty of races before on the back-up and I thought he handled himself in the previous preparation at Sydney way of going and he deserves his chance to win a Metropolitan.”
At the barrier draw at Randwick on Tuesday Av dull a found out he’d becoming out of the nice gate six and won’t have problems find a cosy spot as the field quickly makes it to the first turn.
“It’ s on a small field of 12 horses and he’s beaten most of them before ,” he said.
“He’s four runs in on a quick backup and he’s got good form at the track against some of the best horses in country. He won two weeks before her an third in the Sydney Cup so I’m looking forward top artneringhm.
“The boys wouldn’ t have brought him up here for just a bit of fun .”
Big Duke stayed at $6 with the TAB following the barrier draw, as did ant her Australia Bloodstock runner,Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bot t-trained Broadside.
He’s been given two run sat 2300 m( Newcastle Cup) and
40( Colin Stephen Quality) in the past fort night which Bott said was needed before he tackle sT Metropolitan fourth-up.
“He’s pulled up super andobviou sly he’s got afewuns on the board running in the Newcastle Cup then backing up last Saturday and now into this Saturday ,” Bott said.
“We just felt we needed to get the miles into his legs. We preferredt hat option rather than going into The Metropolitan third-up and had quite an east run last weekend with the way the race was run .”
He has led h is past two and from barrier nine should have no problem dictating the race upfront as he looks to add to his Newcastle Cup win in what would be a super preparation.
“He’ ll able to fire upon Saturday. You need a rock-hard fit horse to win Group 1 over 2 4 0 0m and that’s what he is now ,” Bott said.
Meanwhile, Av dull a is looking forward to his second ride on sprint star Chautauqua at Randwick on Saturday in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes(1200m ).
He’s learn ta lot about the Team Hawk es-trained grey since patne ring him to an eyecatching seven thin The Shorts.
Big Duke is on track to make amends in tomorrow’s Metropolitan at Randwick.