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  • Provincial Racing NSW


NEWCASTLE Gold Cup placegetter Hosier is out of Saturday’s $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick.

A wide barrier and the forecast of hot weather prompted trainer Mark Minervini to scratch the gelding this afternoon after conferring with RacingNSW stewards’ chairman Steve Railton, thus forfeiting his chance to have his first Group 1 runner in Sydney.

Instead, he will wait a week and run Hosier in the $2m Group 2 Hill Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill Gardens next Saturday.

The Hill Stakes is run at weight-for-age, and despite not carrying Group 1 status, is worth $1.155m to the winner as overall it is $1.25m more than The Metropolitan.

“Hosier’s wide barrier was a concern, but I was more worried about the really hot weather predicted for the weekend,” Minervini said this afternoon.

“The Metropolitan is the ninth race on the program at 4.45pm and, even with watering, the track is going to be pretty firm by then.”

Minervini will have to find a new rider for Hosier at Rosehill as Jason Collett, who has been aboard the seven-year-old at four of his last five starts (including winning the Listed Premier’s Cup, 2000m at Randwick on August 19) has another commitment.

Hosier’s defection means there are now three provincial-trained stayers left in The Metropolitan.

Newcastle’s Kris Lees has Cleveland (Damien Oliver) and Kalapour (Kerrin McEvoy), and Hawkesbury’s Marc Chevalier will be represented by Torrens (Jenny Duggan).

As well as blinkers going on Cleveland, Lees also has opted for a gear change on Kalapour.

A nose roll will come off the gelding, who instead will race in winkers for the first time.

Cleveland is at $23 with, Kalapour at $21, and Torrens is a $101 outsider.

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s import Just Fine, impressive in two recent Sydney victories at Randwick at 1600m and 2000m since arriving in Australia from the UK, is all the rage for The Metropolitan at $1.75.

*Words John Curtis, September 28, 2023 - Pics Steve Hart*

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