A deteriorating track cruelled Hush Writer’s Metropolitan Handicap chances last year but a favourable weather forecast has his trainers upbeat about his Group One prospects.
The Japanese-bred stayer is a duffer on rain-affected ground and struck those conditions in the race 12 months ago, finishing eighth.
But with Randwick rated in the good range on Wednesday and no significant rain expected, co-trainer Adrian Bott says Hush Writer gets his chance to make amends.
“Last year we just didn’t get the conditions on the day so the key is if we can get a dry track on Saturday,” Bott said.
“He is just a very happy horse at present.
“I thought he was going into the race last year in excellent order but I feel this year we might just have him open to that bit more improvement out of the Newcastle Cup.”
Hush Writer was coming off a winter campaign last year when he placed in the Wyong Cup and won the Newcastle feature on his way to the Metropolitan.
This spring he is on fresh legs, resuming from a decent spell to finish third at Wyong before a second to Metropolitan favourite Mugatoo at Newcastle.
Bott is confident Hush Writer can turn the tables on the Kris Lees-trained stayer in Saturday’s 2400 metre assignment.
“He is certainly open to a lot of improvement. He was only second-up there in the Newcastle Cup so I thought it was a very tough effort to lead from the outset,” Bott said.
The Tulloch Lodge horseman will be chasing his first win in the Metropolitan but the race has been a happy hunting ground for his business partner Gai Waterhouse.
Te Akau Nick gave Waterhouse her first major as a trainer when he won it in 1992 and she has claimed the Metropolitan an incredible eight times in total, most recently with Glencadam Gold in 2012.