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The Metropolitan

The Metropolitan is a race over 2,400 metres run at the Royal Randwick racecourse. This year’s event is to be held on Saturday October 1st.  The same day as the Epsom Handicap and the Flight Stakes (for fillies), both of which are run over 1,600 metres. It will make for a very exciting day’s racing.

The race is a Group 1 open handicap for three year old horses and up.  It carries total prize money of $750,000. It has a long history, dating back to 1863, and has been run every year since, except 2007 when it was cancelled because of the outbreak of equine flu.

It was originally a Principal Race run over 16 furlongs until 1892 when the length was reduced to 12 furlongs. In 1920 it was increased to 13 furlongs, which in 1972 was converted to 2,600 metres. Then in 2001 the distance was decreased again bringing it to where it stands today at 2,400 metres. It was elevated to Group 1 standing in 1979.

Lead up races

Entries for the Metropolitan Handicap tend to come from a variety of other races, notably the Colin Stephen Quality Handicap which is run over the same distance the week before, and the Kingston Town Stakes (2,000 metres) which is run at Rosehill in Septemberr. Both of those are Group 3 races. The more important guide is the Colin Stephen Quality Handicap run at the same course.

In recent years, a number of horses have taken out the Colin Stephen/ Metropolitan Handicap double. Hula Flight did so in 1996. Heart Ruler (1997), In Joyment (1998), Vita Man (1999), Coca Cabanna (2000), Dress Circle (2001), and Railings in 2005 have all achieved the double. A bet on the double this year could prove a profitable investment.

The Metropolitan is also a great lead up to the Caulfield Cup, which is run over the same distance and under much the same conditions. Railings in 2005, and Tawqueet in 2006, both took out the Metropolitan/ Caulfield Cup double.

With three big races on the 1st of October, together with supporting races, The Metropolitan day is promising to be entertaining for the very large crowd that always turns out for this race and the Epsom Handicap and Flight Stakes.