Chris Waller will saddle-up the top weight in a diminutive but classy ATC Winter Cup 2016 field at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday with Junoob one of two in the race for Sydney’s premier trainer.
Waller may have opted to run his Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup winner Index Linked in the Glasshouse Handicap in Queensland on Saturday, but he still has two in the mix at home on the $100,000 Listed ATC Winter Cup (2400m).
Carrying a hefty 61kg from barrier four in the small seven-starter field is Haafhd eight-year-old Junoob who jockey Blake Shinn continues his association with.
Third two back in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm, Junoob failed to beat home any other runners when eighth to his stablemate Index Linked in the Tattersall’s Cup over 2200m last Saturday.
He is on the quick turnaround racing on successive Saturdays and rises from 59.5kg to 61kg, but gets a small field at home back up to a mile and a half in the Winter Cup.
From nine previous Rosehill runs Junoob boasts three wins and a third, but the veteran import hasn’t enjoyed a victory since his Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) success in November last year.
Waller’s other Winter Cup hope this season is Loophole in gate two on 54.5kg with Tim Clark booked to ride the Lonhro six-year-old.
Loophole comes off two good thirds over 1800m and 2000m respectively at Rosehill Gardens, but is as yet untested over 2400m.
Last time out Foreign Prince beat him home by four lengths on June 18, but Loophole drops back from the 57kg on his back that day and gets the chance to atone in the distance test this weekend.
Foreign Prince is also running in the Winter Cup rematch, the David Payne-trained High Chaparral five-year-old shooting for his third win on the trot.
His recent Rosehill wins have been impressive, but he rises notably from 53kg last start to 56kg this weekend and has his first look at the distance.
Senior rider Jason Collett has been called in to replace Deanne Panya aboard the gelding and the horse is likely to be ridden off the pace ahead of a possible Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) target on July 14.
Also in stellar form and accepted for a Winter Cup run is the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Pentire six-year-old Tucanchoo.
After back-to-back wins at Sandown over 1600m and Randwick over 2000m earlier this prep, the gelding finished a quarter-length back for second in last weekend’s Tattersall’s Cup.
He returns to Sydney on the weekend having his maiden start at Rosehill and gets in on the 54kg minimum again, this time from barrier five with Christian Reith aboard.
Rounding out the field are John Thompson’s rails-drawn Teofilo mare Jiayuguan who has an impressive record over the distance (6-3-1-0), First Bloom for Scone horseman Greg Bennett and the John Sargent-trained O’Reilly mare Swift Lady coming off a 2000m win at Kembla Grange.
See below for the full Winter Cup 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and weights before visiting the country’s leading bookie Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost!
2016 Winter Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 4 (1:10pm) – 02/07/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||2012×04638||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||4||61kg||105|
|2||42526×9811||FOREIGN PRINCE (NZ)||David Payne||Jason Collett||6||56kg||95|
|3||911558×633||LOOPHOLE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tim Clark||2||54.5kg||92|
|4||860561×112||TUCANCHOO (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Christian Reith||5||54kg||90|
|5||161124×974||JIAYUGUAN (IRE)||John P Thompson||Sam Clipperton||1||54kg||89|
|6||44100×0486||FIRST BLOOM||Greg Bennett||Ms Kathy O’Hara||3||54kg||73|
|7||x909x60471||SWIFT LADY (NZ)||John Sargent||Brenton Avdulla||7||54kg||70|