2015 Winter Challenge Nominations Released

A talented group of eleven runners have been included in nominations for Saturday’s Listed Winter Challenge (1500m); highlighted by the pending appearance of some of the Spring Carnival’s most exciting prospects at Rosehill Gardens.

Rugged Cross (inside) and Wouldnt It Be Nice (outside) have been included in 2015 Winter Challenge nominations. Photo: Steve Hart

Rugged Cross (inside) and Wouldnt It Be Nice (outside) have been included in 2015 Winter Challenge nominations. Photo: Steve Hart

Rugged Cross charged home to post a maiden black type success a fortnight ago and has been included in 2015 Winter Challenge nominations.

Posting six wins and a further ten minors through 27 career starts so far, Rugged Cross returned this time for ninth in the Listed Hareeba Stakes (1200m) on March 28th but quickly found form in taking out the Royal Randwick BM100 (1400m) on April 18th and finishing second in the TAB.com.au Handicap (1600m) on May 6th.

Continuing to impress in running third in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) and fourth in the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m), the Cape Cross gelding produced a particularly impressive turn of foot to take out the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) last time out.

Trainer Chris Waller is set to dominate the final field of the 2015 Winter Challenge after also including Eigelstein and You’ll Never in nominations.

A strong and largely consistent performer for Waller this time in, Eigelstein placed fourth in the Perfection Fresh Handicap (1500m) on June 27th before placing third in the Shoot Out Mile (1600m) last time out on July 11th.

You’ll Never returned for consecutive wins in a pair of Rosehill Gardens sprints in May; running third in his next two starts before a luckless performance for seventh in the Winter Stakes last time out.

Gai Waterhouse also appears likely to launch a multi-pronged attack on the 2015 Winter Challenge after including both Liberty’s Choice and Spurtonic in nominations.

Producing several impressive results for Waterhouse through 2014, including a close second in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) and credible seventh in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m), Liberty’s Choice returned for fourth in the Winter Stakes and should take priceless benefit from the run.

Spurtonic clearly needed the run when failing to beat any of his competitors home in the Winter Stakes first-up, but is a proven performer over track and distance and is sure to lay a great account for himself in the Winter Challenge if allocated a favourable draw.

Paul Perry has been pleased with the continually-building condition of Wouldnt It Be Nice this time and has included his stable star in Winter Challenge nominations.

Winner of the Listed June Stakes (1100m) only two months ago, the Choisir gelding was unlucky to be checked and blocked for a run when eighth in the Civic Stakes but responded well when third in the Winter Stakes a fortnight ago.

The 2015 Winter Challenge final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.

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2015 Winter Challenge Nominations

# Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Hcp Rating
1 00295x60x9 CANNY BALLAD G 6 John P Thompson 90
2 143x00755x DISCLAIMER (GB) G 6 Peter & Paul Snowden 95
3 53x55x4743 EIGELSTEIN (GB) G 8 Chris Waller 92
4 1111×58722 GREAT ESTEEM G 5 Peter & Paul Snowden 82
5 1611319223 KEEPIT TO YOURSELF (NZ) G 6 Jim & Greg Lee 74
6 223x0276x4 LIBERTY’S CHOICE G 5 Gai Waterhouse 90
7 9617521815 NOELA’S CHOICE M 5 Peter G Moody 83
8 0x91233541 RUGGED CROSS (GB) G 7 Chris Waller 99
9 0x5x1080x0 SPURTONIC G 6 Gai Waterhouse 101
10 37×0031583 WOULDNT IT BE NICE G 5 Paul Perry 97
11 7244×11337 YOU’LL NEVER G 6 Chris Waller 98


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