Sydney’s Jason Coyle is confident his flying sprint star Scream Machine has what it takes to take down fellow flyer Generalife when the two face off in a super charged 2014 Winter Stakes showdown at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
While there are only nine nominations for this year’s $100,000 Listed Winter Stakes (1400m), the quality of possible contenders is top class including two horses gunning for their third straight win.
The first of those is Coyle’s Excites gelding Scream Machine, the rising six-year-old back up in class after two easy wins in open company at the track over the past month.
Second-up this campaign Scream Machine raced in Brisbane taking on elite level company in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m).
They had a luckless run and couldn’t get into the clear but lost few admires when, unsuited to the weight-for-age conditions, they fought back for a sixth to Spirit Of Boom beaten under two lengths by the Tony Gollan-trained winner.
At their next start they enjoyed coming back to Sydney and up to 1400m on June 14 winning the Sydney Markets Limited Handicap before making it two on the trot a fortnight later in the $85,000 Natski Handicap (1500m).
The multiple Group 1 performer now faces a tougher test taking on a last start stakes winner in Generalife with Coyle confident they’ll be at their peak for the clash.
“He’s in very good order,” Coyle told The Daily Telegraph.
“The horse came through his last win well and he worked nicely (on Saturday) morning.
“He will have a relatively easy week now so he is nice and fresh for the race.”
Coyle also confirmed internationally performed jockey Tye Angland, aboard for the horse’s three most recent runs, retains the ride on Scream Machine this Saturday.
John O’Shea’s Lonhro four-year-old Generalife also has back-to-back wins to their name leading up to Saturday, the most recent of which was a commanding two and a half length victory over Bennetta in the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) on July 5.
Now the duo will come face-to-face fighting for the title of the winter’s premier Sydney sprinter.
In the Civic Stakes Generalife was ridden by apprentice Sam Clipperton but Kerrin McEvoy, aboard the Darley-owned runner for their win two back, returns to the saddle for the Winter Stakes.
“Kerrin is back and he has the ride on Generalife,” O’Shea said.
“I’m really happy with the horse, he looks great.”
Clipperton, on the brink of securing back-to-back Sydney apprentices’ premiership wins, is still chasing another Winter Stakes ride knowing with McEvoy back from a break he wouldn’t be staying on Generalife.
“I didn’t expect to stay on Gerneralife with Kerrin back,” he said.
“Kerrin is the stable rider, that is the reality. I’m just thankful Darley gave me an opportunity on the horse last start.”
The young hoop has ridden 22 Sydney winners for the season sitting eight clear of his closest competitor Serg Lisnyy, Saturday the first of five remaining metro meets for 2013-14.
“I’m in a good position to retain the title, although I’m not home yet,” Clipperton said.
“I still have the goal to outride my claim before I come out of my time at the end of the month and I still need three more winners to achieve that, so I’ve got to stay focused.”
2014 Winter Stakes nominations have been extended until 11am on Tuesday morning with final acceptances taken on Wednesday.
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