Ex-Metrop favourite now unlikely to front

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September 21, 2017 - 05:57 PM

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Alward, a former favourite for The Metropolitan will need a compelling victory at Rosehill to convince trainer Chris Waller he should run in the Group One race.

Waller thought the gelding might be a lightweight chance for The Metropolitan after winning over 2000m at Rosehill last month.

But the Irish-bred stayer has been usurped at the top of Metropolitan markets by stablemate Libran after a last-start unplaced run at Rosehill and the latter's Kingston Town Stakes win.

The Waller-trained Antonio Giuseppe and Life Less Ordinary are on the second line of Metropolitan betting while Alward has drifted to $15.

Alward ($3.70) is one of three Waller runners in Saturday's Ranvet Handicap (2000m) after Waller opted not to run him in the Listed Colin Stephen Quality (2400m).

"Stepping up to 2000 metres will suit better, but to run in a Metrop he'd need to win by four or five lengths," Waller said.

Waller wants $1.95 favourite Up 'N' Rolling to win by the same margin to be in contention for a start in The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick next Saturday.

"He's probably the pick of them. If he's going to progress to Metrop he'd have to win by four or five, you won't get me running him out of his grade," he said.

Waller was encouraged by six-year-old gelding Quick Defence's last-start win in a Benchmark 81 Handicap (1800m), as he steps up in trip.

"He''ll attack the line and 2000 metres shouldn't be a problem now he's settling better."

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