The Metropolitan

The Metropolitan, also known as the Metropolitan Handicap, is a $350 000 Group 1 handicap for horses aged three years or older. It is run over 2400m at Randwick every October.
It is Sydney’s staying feature of the spring and is a typical lead up to some of the big staying races in Melbourne, like the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

It is one of the oldest races on the Australian racing calendar, stretching back to 1863 when it was run over 16 furlongs (3200m). The first edition was won by Regno.

It remained at 16 furlongs until 1892, when it was reduced to 12 furlongs (2400m). In 1920, it was stretched back out to 13 furlongs (2600m), where it remained until it was brought back to 2400m in 2001.

Only five horses have won The Metropolitan and the Melbourne Cup in the same year – Tim Whiffler (1867), Delta (1951), Dalray (1952), Straight Draw (1957) and Macdougal (1959). The Barb (1868) had previously won the 1866 Melbourne Cup.

Similarly, only four horses have won The Metropolitan and the Caulfield Cup in the same year – Redcraze (1956), Hayai (1983), Railings (2005) and Tawqeet (2006).

Other notable winners have included Mooltan (1907, 1908), Royal Chief (1938), Beau Vite (1940), Murray Stream (1945), General Command (1967), Tails (1969, 1970), Battle Heights (1976), Ming Dynasty (1978), Belmura Lad (1981), Te Akau Nick (1992), Glastonbury (1994), County Tyrone (2004) and Speed Gifted (2009).

In 2011, The Verminator was a surprise winner from Hawk Island and Lamasery, while 2012 saw Glencadam Gold easily defeat Kelinni and Reuben Percival. Notably, both Glencadam Gold (sixth) and Kelinni (fourth) went on to run admirably in the Melbourne Cup.

Horses that run in The Metropolitan generally come through the Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m), the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m), the Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality (2400m) or the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m).

From The Metropolitan, they can go straight into races like the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) or the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m). Alternatively, they can go to races like the Listed City Tattersalls Cup (2400m) or the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m).