Sydney’s best Chris Waller has two nominations for Saturday’s ATC Winter Cup 2016 at Rosehill Racecourse including his last start Group 3 winner in Brisbane Index Linked.
Racing NSW received only seven early entries on Monday for this season’s $100,000 Listed ATC Winter Cup (2400m), extending nominations for the handicap clash until late Tuesday morning.
Of the current hopefuls Waller has two nominees with Index Linked and Junoob the highest-rated of the stayers in the mix.
Dansili eight-year-old Index Linked has been in strong form this season, the veteran last seen improving on a Brisbane Cup fifth to win the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2200m) on Tiara Day.
If accepted for an ATC Winter Cup back-up he will get just seven days between runs, stepping back up to the mile and a half in his first Rosehill run since a fifth to Ecuador in the Listed Lord Mayors Cup (2000m) in early May.
Waller’s other runner Junoob is also a rising nine-year-old, the imported Haafhd gelding coming off an eighth to his stablemate in last weekend’s Tattersall’s Cup.
Prior to that he crossed a brave third to Benzini in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) giving him a solid record (10-2-2-2) over Saturday’s distance.
Also on the quick turnaround from a Tattersall’s Cup run into the Winter Cup in Sydney this weekend could be the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Tucanchoo.
The six-year-old son of Pentire won three on the trot from March – June over 1600m – 2200m before his second in the Tattersall’s Cup beaten only a quarter-length.
He’s yet to win over a mile and a half having had just one run over the distance so far, but could be given a shot on Saturday in a small field on the back of some very good winter form.
Also in red hot form is the David Payne-trained local Foreign Prince.
The five-year-old High Chaparral comes off back-to-back Rosehill wins over 1800m and 2000m respectively, the latest by a runaway three lengths on June 18.
If accepted into the ATC Cup Winter Cup field it will be the New Zealand-bred galloper’s first run over further than 2000m, but the ease of his latest victory suggests he’ll handle the extra metres.
The other last start winner in the mix is John Sargent’s four-year-old O’Reilly mare Swift Lady.
The grey saluted over 2000m at Kembla Grange on June 14, but is yet to win at Rosehill or over that distance and also hasn’t been tested in stakes’ company since her Queensland Oaks 15th to Winx last winter.
The other mares nominated to take on the boys in the Winter Cup are six-year-old First Bloom and the John Thompson-trained Teofilo five-year-old Jiayuguan who will relish the step back up to 2400m having a stellar record at the distance (6-3-1-0).
Stay tuned for the ATC Winter Cup 2016 field and barriers, due for release on Wednesday.
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2016 Winter Cup Nominations
Rosehill Gardens Racecourse – 02/07/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||44100×0486||FIRST BLOOM||M||6||Greg Bennett||73|
|2||42526×9811||FOREIGN PRINCE (NZ)||G||5||David Payne||95|
|3||300×025851||INDEX LINKED (GB)||G||8||Chris Waller||105|
|4||161124×974||JIAYUGUAN (IRE)||M||5||John P Thompson||89|
|5||2012×04638||JUNOOB (GB)||G||8||Chris Waller||105|
|6||x909x60471||SWIFT LADY (NZ)||M||4||John Sargent||70|
|7||860561×112||TUCANCHOO (NZ)||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||90|