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Alward could make a late bid for the Group One Metropolitan Handicap

Imported stayer Alward could make a late bid for the Group One Metropolitan Handicap if he can emulate his first win in Australia in his Sydney debut at Rosehill.

Trainer Chris Waller said the Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on September 30 was an optimistic target for the gelding who began his career in France.

Alward, who joined Waller’s stable last September, cleared out to win by three lengths at Flemington over 2000 metres on August 12 and tackles the same distance in Saturday’s Pacific Boating Handicap.

“He couldn’t have been any more impressive in winning that last start,” Waller said on his weekly online preview.

“It’ll be interesting to see how he progresses. He could be a lightweight chance in the Metrop if he keeps progressing, but he’s probably running out of time.

“You need to keep to keep that dream alive.”

Sydney’s premier trainer has three other runners in the Benchmark 82 race.

Unbeaten gelding Chatelard continues to defy expectations as he bids for his fourth successive victory.

“We keep saying he’ll probably go to the paddock after each run but he keep coming through his races really well,” Waller said.

He said Vaucluse Bay was capable of rebounding from his last-start failure as odds-on favourite in a Benchmark 80 at Rosehill on August 12.

The four-year-old was diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia after he trailed King Viv by 21 lengths, and has responded well.

“We’ll probably ride him a little more conservative with cover,” Waller said.

“Last start there was no pace and he was outside the leader for the first part of the race on a very windy day.”

Quick Defence is backing up from a third in a Benchmark 75 (1900m) at Canterbury last week.

 
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