A field of ten horses has been named to contest the Listed $100,000 2012 Winter Challenge (1600m) at Warwick Farm this weekend.
Carrying the top weight of 59kg is Gai Waterhouse-trained gelding King Lionheart who produced a disappointing first-up effort when ninth in the Listed Winter Stakes two weeks ago.
The former Group 2 winner has not won since September’s Shannon Stakes but had a reasonable autumn, placing once and finishing fourth on another two occasions at stakes level.
One horse with recent black-type success to their name is Irish Dream who will be looking to finish the season with consecutive victories after winning the Winter Stakes.
Trained by Ron Quinton, the daughter of Falbrav is nearing the end of her racing career after increasing her stud value with her recent breakthrough victory.
Fellow last-start winner Spinnawitch heads into Saturday’s race with a similar goal, with the rising six-year-old having placed twice at Group level but is yet to finish at the front of the field.
“We’ve had this race in the back of our minds for a while, being on her home track and the fact it has black type,” trainer Jarrod Austin said.
“She has two Group Three placings but getting a black-type win is important.”
Following a 14-month break, Spinnawitch returned to racing in sensational fashion on July 14 when winning a BM83 Handicap at Warwick Farm by a dominant 2 1/2 lenghts.
Another in-form horse facing a step up in class is Melbourne-based gelding Forty Thirty who has finished a worst of third in his six most recent starts.
Other horses named to contest the Sydney feature include former Doncaster place-getter Brilliant Light and Bede Murray-trained gelding World Wide.
Markets will open tomorrow on the Winter Challenge and sensational value betting can be found at bookmaker.com.au.
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Winter Challenge 2012 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||0x734457x9||KING LIONHEART||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||3||59kg||101|
|2||9x586x9321||IRISH DREAM||Ron Quinton||Glyn Schofield||11||55.5kg||98|
|3||8400x70x95||BRILLIANT LIGHT||Kerry Parker||Jay Ford||6||55kg||93|
|4||x24700x041||EREWHON||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||4||55kg||93|
|5||331276×516||WINNING GLORY (NZ)||David Payne||Nathan Berry||2||55kg||93|
|6||2624005318||WORLD WIDE||Bede Murray||Corey Brown||8||54kg||88|
|7||5×27321132||FORTY THIRTY||Clinton McDonald||Chad Schofield (a)||5||54kg||82|
|9||23112×0343||OUR PRIDE AND JOY||Mick Price||Brenton Avdulla||9||54kg||79|
|10||34343x68x1||SPINNAWITCH||Jarrod Austin||Blake Shinn||7||54kg||77|
|11||1851x0x456||HENDRICUS||John O’Shea||Peter Robl||1||54kg||72|