Jason Coyle’s smart galloper Scream Machine is the headline acceptor in the opening stakes race of the new season with the Winter Challenge 2014 running at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
Scheduled to jump as Race 5 at 2:50pm on Saturday this year’s $100,000 Listed Winter Challenge (1500m) has attracted a small but quality field of just eight hopefuls.
It’s also the bet bonus race of the week at the country’s premier bookie Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering money back up to $50 as a bonus bet if your horse runs second in the Winter Challenge!
Leading the Winter Challenge field and weights with 59kg is Coyle’s Excites gelding Scream Machine, turning six on Friday.
Group 1 performed in Brisbane when a close sixth in the Doomben 10,000 back in May they returned to Sydney in June and enjoyed back-to-back Rosehill wins over 1400m and 1500m respectively.
Their latest start was then back in black-type company when third behind Generalife in the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) where they over-raced mid-run and were blocked over the final 200m.
Coyle is confident then they can return to winning form as they go up to 1500m on Saturday despite a jockey change and heavier weight.
The horse’s regular rider this campaign Tye Angland is engaged to ride the Chris Waller-trained rival I’m Imposing in Saturday’s showdown and Blake Shinn is the replacement hoop for Scream Machine who carried 58.5kg last start.
I’m Imposing is one of two last start winners in the race this year, Waller’s veteran Danehill Dancer gelding turning nine this week.
They showed they still had a zest for racing however at Randwick on July 12 winning the Shoot Out Handicap over the mile over Single.
They drop back to 1500m here, a distance they’ve run third over in all three of their attempts, as I’m Imposing looks to go back-to-back with two kilos more (57.5kg) than last time out.
Waller plays a strong hand in the Winter Challenge too with I’m Imposing joined by three of their stablemates.
The other runners representing Sydney’s leading trainer are Coyp Ay Tee (58.5kg) with the inside running from barrier one, Tougher Than Ever (56kg) to be ridden by Glyn Schofield from the outside alley and He’s Your Man.
James McDonald’s mount has drawn well in barrier three for their second run this time in, the French import having run a nice third to Generalife in the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) at the track a month back.
The other big name Winter Challenge hopeful likely to be challenging Scream Machine for favouritism in the Ladbrokes.com.au markets is then the Gai Waterhouse-trained Queenstown.
The Stratum mare is the other last start winner in the race with the four-year-old having won the Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) on July 10.
It’s a big drop back in distance to the 1500m for Saturday, however some sharp work on Tuesday over 1400m showed she might just have the zip to feature in the finish again here.
Waterhouse also originally nominated Danas Best for the Winter Challenge but they’ve not been accepted with their new season return delayed.
Rounding out the Winter Challenge line-up then are the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Disclaimer racing first-up here and Romantic Moon for James & Bart Cummings.
Drawn in barrier five, smart More Than Ready filly Romantic Moon won over the track and distance against her own kind two back before a last start second in the Winter Stakes on July 19 in the perfect lead-up for Saturday’s showdown.
See below for the full Winter Challenge 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
Make sure you’re ready for the first black-type of the season by signing up with Ladbrokes.com.au to access their Money Back Winter Challenge Bonus!
2014 Winter Challenge Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 5 (2:50pm) – 02/08/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||7496×36113||SCREAM MACHINE||Jason Coyle||Blake Shinn||4||59kg||101|
|2||12460×9865||COUP AY TEE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||1||58.5kg||100|
|3||145×352761||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||6||57.5kg||98|
|4||x22123x351||QUEENSTOWN||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||7||57kg||101|
|5||428x97x649||TOUGHER THAN EVER (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||8||56kg||95|
|6||625x2340x3||HE’S YOUR MAN (FR)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||3||55kg||93|
|7||x550x03312||ROMANTIC MOON||Bart & James Cummings||Brenton Avdulla||5||54kg||90|
|8||1110x5x49x||DISCLAIMER (GB)||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||2||54kg||87|