A step back up in distance could be the key to getting Scream Machine back into the winners’ stall for the 2014 Winter Challenge at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
The opening black-type of the 2014-15 racing season, the $100,000 Listed Winter Challenge (1500m) on Saturday is set to feature a quality line-up of middle distance sprint types.
Among the 12 original nominations are seven from the Sydney premiership winning stables of Chris Waller.
Waller has entered rising eight-year-old Bagman, Shoot Out Handicap winner I’m Imposing and Civic Stakes third placed import He’s Your Man along with Coup Ay Tee, Eigelstein, Lucky Chappy and Tougher Than Ever.
Waller has also stolen Scream Machine’s regular rider Tye Angland, Coyle then booking Blake Shinn to ride his galloper for the first time on Saturday.
While Waller’s got the numbers, the Warwick Farm-based Coyle is hoping he’s got the talent with his Excites gelding, six on Friday, Scream Machine coming off some stellar winter form.
Back in May they were tested at elite level second-up at the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, Scream Machine far from disgraced when under two lengths away sixth behind Spirit Of Boom in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m).
Back-to-back Rosehill wins over 1400m and 1500m respectively were to follow with Scream Machine beating home Taxmeifyoucan and Bagman respectively.
Last start on July 19 they raced in stakes company again this time in the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) when one and a half lengths away third behind Generalife.
Coyle is confident that with the connections of the John O’Shea-trained Generalife not opting to nominate them for Saturday’s Winter Challenge, instead saving them for a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival prep, that Scream Machine can return to their winning ways.
The extra 100m back up to 1500m is also set to suit with Scream Machine one of the top rated hopefuls.
“I think going back to 1500m is a plus and the horse has done really well since the Winter Stakes,” Coyle told The Daily Telegraph.
“I’m confident we can get another good run from this horse.”
Along with Waller’s contingent the other major dangers to Scream Machine on Saturday look to be the Gai Waterhouse-trained Grafton Cup winning mare Queenstown who has to handle a step back in distance and Bart & James Cummings’ Winter Stakes third placed filly Romantic Moon.
Bookmark us here at Races.com.au to view the official 2014 Winter Challenge field when it is out on Wednesday.
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