Metal Bender on target for Cups

Chris Waller says new Caulfield Cup favourite Metal Bender has ticked all the boxes in his preparation for Saturday week’s $2.5 million race.

The multiple Group One winner hit the line powerfully for an eye-catching fourth in Sunday’s Turnbull Stakes (2000m) to firm to $7 with TAB Sportsbet ahead of $8.50 chances Shocking and Herculian Prince.

Third declarations for the Caulfield Cup will be taken on Tuesday and Waller will also pay up for Triple Honour after his third in Saturday’s Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick.

“We rode Metal Bender a bit negatively (in the Turnbull) because we’re starting to prepare for the Cups,” Waller said.

“We’ve been racing him handy from bad draws and he hasn’t quite been finishing it off so we wanted to make sure he settled and finished his races off and he did that yesterday.

“It was good from that point of view, obviously it cost us running in the first three but realistically the next two races are important.

“We’re on track and he’s pulled up well.”

The Turnbull was taken out by nine-year-old Zipping ahead of Shocking and Shoot Out.

Metal Bender was having his second Melbourne start following his third behind Cox Plate favourite So You Think in the Underwood Stakes (1800m).

The five-year-old won the Warwick Stakes (1400m) first-up in Sydney and finished second to Theseo in the Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) prior to heading south.

“All the boxes are ticked,” Waller said.

“He’s had the perfect preparation to get 2400 metres, he’s raced at Caulfield, he’s had two runs left-handed and he’s hitting the line and ready to race.”

Triple Honour leaves for Melbourne on Tuesday to join his stablemate in the Caulfield Cup on October 16.

Like Metal Bender, Triple Honour has also had four runs leading into the Caulfield Cup.

He was beaten just over a length and a half in the Craven Plate as the $2.70 favourite.

“He’s going to have to improve but he’s the same, he’s had the perfect preparation,” Waller said.

“He’s already raced left-handed before. He has never raced over 2400 metres but he’s won over 2200 (in the Eagle Farm Cup).

“He’s going to be well down in the betting order but he deserves his chance.”