This weekend just one black type race is scheduled to take place around the country with Sydney’s Rosehill Gardens Racecourse to host the Winter Challenge 2013.
Due to run as Race 6 at 3:30pm (AEST) on Saturday this year’s $100,000 Listed Winter Challenge (1500m) has drawn 10 acceptors.
The top-rated and weighted of the confirmed hopefuls is Chris Waller’s exciting French import Bayrir with 59kg.
Jumping from the inside alley with top Sydney hoop Hugh Bowman booked for their Australian debut, the Medicean five-year-old hasn’t raced since their Hong Kong Vase sixth in December last year.
Their resuming run will be closely watched as punters look to get a grasp on their spring carnival prospects, Bayrir boasting an American Grade 1 victory from last August having won the Secretariat Stakes over 2011m.
Waller has also accepted for two others from his stables with Wazn and Coup Ay Tee drawn at opposite ends of the field in gates 10 and three respectively.
Whipper seven-year-old Wazn is second-up for the season after a sixth to Under The Sun in the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) at the same track two weeks back while Coup Ay Tee comes off a third in that same race.
The Winter Stakes winner Under The Sun will also back-up in the Winter Challenge shooting for their third win from four starts.
Drawn nicely in gate two they will carry 57.5kg with Thomas Huet in the saddle, the Gai Waterhouse-trained No Excuses Needed gelding going up from their Winter Stakes weight of just 54.5kg.
Other notable hopes in the mix then include Norm Hilton’s Winter Stakes fourth placed Bold Glance, resuming Group 1 performer Darci Be Good and the David Vandkye-trained Less Is More who is another French expat.
Beat Hollow gelding Less Is More has been with Vandyke in Sydney since September last year with their best effort to date being a mile win at Eagle Farm during the winter carnival.
They were then a brave second to Precedence in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) at Doomben in May before finishing eighth, beaten only three lengths, in a big 18-horse field behind winner Moriarty in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup 92400m) on June 8.
Happy with their 54kg minimum weight for the Winter Challenge, Vandyke is confident they can get Less Is More back in the winner’s stall this season as they keep them to the middle-distance races.
“We’ve tried him at 2400 metres twice and he didn’t finish it off,” Vandyke said.
“Unlike some of the Europeans I think he is not a genuine stayer but is a good middle distance horse.”
Check out the full 2013 Winter Challenge field, barriers, jockeys and weights in the table below.
2013 Winter Challenge Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 6 – 3:30pm (AEST) – 03/08/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1411120x6x||BAYRIR (FR)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||1||59kg||103|
|2||x260252121||UNDER THE SUN (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Thomas Huet||2||57.5kg||100|
|3||5x81010x09||KINNERSLEY||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||7||57kg||99|
|4||8138×00634||BOLD GLANCE||Norm Hilton||Tim Clark||6||56.5kg||98|
|5||534327067x||IRONSTEIN||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||4||55.5kg||96|
|6||576410328x||DARCI BE GOOD (NZ)||Bede Murray||Ms Kathy O’Hara||8||55kg||95|
|7||21x42946x6||WAZN (IRE)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||10||54.5kg||94|
|8||3266×61203||COUP AY TEE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||3||54kg||92|
|9||1x348x0128||LESS IS MORE (FR)||David Vandyke||Peter Robl||9||54kg||90|
|10||7x058x5355||PRETTY PINS (NZ)||John P Thompson||Jim Cassidy||5||54kg||84|