After trainer Joe Pride considered bypassing Saturday’s race in favour of a Grafton Cup run, reigning champ Destiny’s Kiss has been accepted for the Winter Cup 2014 at Rosehill Gardens.
Only six stayers were originally nominated for this year’s $100,000 Listed Perfection Fresh Winter Cup (2400m), the headline race in Sydney this weekend.
Ryan then was left hoping for late entries with a bigger field to suit his defending Winter Cup winner Destiny’s Kiss.
His hopes were answered with 10 now in the final field, Destiny’s Kiss to defend their title from barrier one as the 59kg top weight.
The Power Of Destiny gelding won last year’s race on a Heavy (9) track by a big two and a half lengths, albeit carrying only 55.5kg.
They have a notable rise in the weights then here, but their lead-up form is good.
Last time out on June 7 they backed up from a second to La Amistad in the Listed WJ McKell Cup (2400m) to beat home Astro Avalance by half a length, carrying 59kg, in the $100,000 Stayers Cup (3200m) at Randwick.
While they are back down in distance here and could find the mile and a half a little sharp, Pride will give them a chance to win successive Winter Cups.
Fellow Sydney trainer Chris Waller then dominates the rest of the field saddling up four of Destiny’s Kiss’s nine rivals.
Waller has accepted for Dansili seven-year-old Permit (58kg, barrier nine), Hoylonny (55kg, barrier eight) who has finished at the back of the field in their two runs this time in, Secessio (54.5kg, barrier three) and Mulaqen (54kg, barrier four).
Of those his best chance of winning looks to be Tye Angland’s mount Secessio, the five-year-old having run third in the McKell Cup before their sixth in the Stayers’ Cup to Destiny’s Kiss.
While they were beaten by a notable 14 lengths last time out by a horse they face again on Saturday, Secessio will appreciate coming back from the two miles which they didn’t run out and also get in with less weight.
Mulaqen also has nice lead-up form having run fourth in a 2000m race at Rosehill last start from the same barrier they have this weekend.
Ironstein meanwhile has drawn the far outside barrier for what will be their second last run, their swansong scheduled as the $150,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) on July 10.
The eight-year-old Zabeel veteran is also accepted for the Caloundra Cup in Queensland but trainer Gerald Ryan has indicated staying in Sydney is the preferred option.
Other notable hopes include Whipper seven-year-old Wazn coming off a distant fourth in the Stayer’s Cup and a WJ McKell Cup fourth, and 2012 SA Derby winner Zabeelionaire.
See below for the full Winter Cup 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2014 Winter Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 5 (2:40pm) – 28/06/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||6333×51521||DESTINY’S KISS||Joseph Pride||TBA||1||59kg||103|
|2||8281186565||PERMIT (GB)||Chris Waller||TBA||9||58kg||101|
|3||x001230x00||HOYLONNY||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||8||55kg||95|
|4||54665×5744||IRONSTEIN||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||10||54.5kg||94|
|5||13355×7336||SECESSIO (GB)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||3||54.5kg||94|
|6||0168×07044||WAZN (IRE)||Tony Newing||TBA||5||54kg||92|
|7||306×080256||ZABEELIONAIRE (NZ)||Leon Corstens||TBA||6||54kg||92|
|8||x65411x054||MULAQEN (GB)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||4||54kg||87|
|9||423x3x1827||SIR BIGGLESWORTH (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||James McDonald||7||54kg||74|
|10||54318×4429||RAPA NUI||Wanda Ings||TBA||2||54kg||61|