A step up in distance and weight are the two tests the Paul Perry-trained Wouldnt It Be Nice faces when looking to turn the tables on his last start conqueror in Saturday’s Winter Challenge 2015 at Rosehill Gardens.
There are 10 gallopers contesting this weekend’s sole black-type, the $100,000 Listed The Paslode Winter Challenge (1500m) heading the eight-race Rosehill card for the Horse’s Birthday meeting as Race 6 at 3:25pm (AEST).
Markets at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by one of Chris Waller’s three chances of securing his third straight win in the handicap showdown, Commands gelding You’ll Never at a current quote of $4.80.
Another single figure hope in Winter Challenge betting is the Newcastle-based Wouldnt It Be Nice, Perry’s Choisir gelding turning five on the weekend.
A winner of five of his 32 starts so far, Saturday will be the horse’s first run over 1500m with his greatest distanced win to date being over 1200m.
His last victory was at the start of June at Randwick when defeating the classy Avoid Lightning by a quarter length in the Listed June Stakes (1100m) run on a Soft (7), a similar track condition to what is expected this weekend at Rosehill.
Wouldnt It Be Nice comes off a third in the race’s traditional lead-up, the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) also held at Rosehill on July 18.
Consistent mare Two Blue looked the winner that day in the mud with Wouldnt It Be Nice challenging, but Waller’s six-year-old import Rugged Cross came to the party late bursting through to secure the narrow win.
Rugged Cross ($5.50) now shoots for the double but must go up from his Winter Stakes winning weight of 56kg to 54kg.
Brenton Avdulla has the ride from barrier two, Rugged Cross jumping one on the outside of Wouldnt It Be Nice who only rises half a kilo from 56.5kg to 57kg.
Thomas Huet retains the ride, Perry pleased with the hoop’s efforts last start and looking forward to seeing how the horse handles the extra 100m this time round.
“He probably got there a bit too soon last time,” Perry told AAP.
“In saying that, Thomas rode him beautifully and there were no excuses.
“The step up to 1500 metres is new for him so we will see what he can do and where we go from here.”
Along with race favourite You’ll Never and Rugged Cross, Waller’s third runner is Dubawi eight-year-old Eigelstein ($5) who was last seen running third to Kenjorwood in the Shoot Out Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on July 11.
Perry’s other Winter Challenge Day runners are Ghost Protocol in the $85,000 The Bisley Workwear Contest (1900m) and Group 1 placed Scratch Me Lucky running in the last – the $85,000 Weathertex Handicap (1400m).
Cockney Rebel seven-year-old Ghost Protocol is out to improve on a seventh at Randwick over 2000m last start and will relish a drop back from 58.5kg to only 50.5kg thanks to the apprentice claim of Serg Lisnyy on Saturday.
Scratch Me Lucky meanwhile will have Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle, the four-year-old son of Snitzel best known for his second to Peggy Jean in the Group 1 Inglis Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in April last year.
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