A small group of nine horses have been nominated to contest the Listed $100,000 2012 Winter Challenge (1600m) at Warwick Farm this weekend.
Saturday’s race stands as the final black-type event of the season in Sydney and included in nominations are last-start winners Irish Dream and Australian Star.
Irish Dream recorded the first black-type of her career earlier this month when the five-year-old upset favourite See The World in the Listed Winter Stakes.
A winner of six of 29 starts, the Ron Quinton-trained mare hit the line well in wet conditions, a promising sign ahead of the rise in distance this weekend.
Exceed and Excel three-year-old Australian Star is stepping up to Listed level for the first him in his career but heads into the race in excellent form.
Trained by Gerald Ryan, the promising gelding is chasing a fourth consecutive victory after excelling at Rosehill throughout the winter.
Also coming into the race in goodform is five-year-old mare Spinnawitch who produced a dominant 2 1/2 length first-up on July 14 at Warwick Farm.
One nominated horse with plenty of black-type experience is King Lionheart who will have to bounce back from a disappointing first-up ninth in the Winter Stakes.
The Gai Waterhouse gelding has not tasted victory since he took top honours in September’s Group 2 Shannon Stakes at Rosehill.
Other horses nominated for the Sydney feature include Mick Price-trained mare Our Pride And Joy, last start runner-up Forty Thirty, Darley gelding Erewhon and former Doncaster place-getter Brilliant Light.
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Winter Challenge 2012 – Nominations
|1||AUSTRALIAN STAR||Gerald Ryan|
|2||BRILLIANT LIGHT||Kerry Parker|
|4||FORTY THIRTY||Clinton McDonald|
|5||IRISH DREAM||Ron Quinton|
|6||KING LIONHEART||Gai Waterhouse|
|7||OUR PRIDE AND JOY||Mick Price|
|9||WINNING GLORY (NZ)||David Payne|