Kim Waugh’s last start Winter Stakes winner Oxford Poet is looking to keep the end-of-season stakes’ success going with a win in Saturday’s Winter Challenge 2016.
The five-year-old Dylan Thomas gelding is one of 17 nominations for this year’s $150,000 Listed Winter Challenge (1500m), the lucrative handicap clash running at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse.
Oxford Poet broke through for his first Black-Type win at the track a fortnight back in the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) and now chases back-to-back victories facing a similar field at a course he now boasts three wins and a third from six starts at.
The Winter Challenge runner-up Zin Zan Eddie is also nominated for the rematch on the weekend, Matthew Smith’s Zizou six-year-old having crossed only a quarter-length off Oxford Poet last time out.
He has had three runs over this Saturday’s extra metres for a trio of third place efforts and after the smart run last time out, will be a genuine place chance again if he is accepted into the Winter Challenge field.
Smith has also nominated for French import Zayam who ran second over the Randwick mile on a Heavy (9) course on July 9 giving him three weeks between runs.
The other best out of the Winter Stakes nominated for the Winter Challenge is the fifth-placed Snippets Land who is the top-rated runner in the mix for Sydney’s only stakes race on Saturday.
Prepared by Peter & Paul Snowden, Snippetson five-year-old Snippets Land ran fourth two back in the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) at Rosehill before the Winter Stakes run that saw him cross three lengths off the winner.
He is yet to run top three from seven previous runs at Rosehill, but did win the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomen in May so has class.
Along with Oxford Poet the other last start winner among this season’s Winter Challenge nominations is the Gregory McFarlane-trained Written Tycoon four-year-old Super Tycoon from Gosford.
The in-form galloper chases his third straight win after victories at Randwick over 1400m in late June and the 1500m at Rosehill on July 16.
A number of smart middle-distance sprinters are nominated for a first-up run in the Winter Challenge also including the John O’Shea-trained duo of Algeria and Allergic.
Four-year-old Medaglia D’Oro mare Algeria’s last run was on April 2 during Sydney’s ‘The Championships’ when runner-up to Libran at Randwick in the Group 2 Chairman’s Stakes (2600m).
She is a proven first-up performer with two wins and a third from three previous resuming runs and also has winning form over the 1500m despite her proven ability as a stayer.
Stablemate Allergic is also a rising five-year-old, the Street Cry gelding having won back-to-back summer races over 2000m at Rosehill and Randwick respectively before seconds in the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) and Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m) in the autumn.
Another Sydney trainer well represented in the Winter Challenge nominations is Chris Waller with four hopefuls led by Kiwi expat Sacred Master, the Auckland Cup third placegetter over the two miles tracking towards an October run in the $750,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m).
Check out the full Winter Challenge 2016 nominations below, the final field and barriers due for release on Wednesday.
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2016 Winter Challenge Nominations
Rosehill Racecourse – 30/07/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|3||2634×05822||FINAL DECISION||G||4||Jason Coyle||76|
|4||x010350013||HIMALAYA DREAM (FR)||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||84|
|5||2236×11694||MARENOSTRO (NZ)||G||5||Chris Waller||95|
|6||96x82089x9||MARPLE MISS||M||4||Kris Lees||77|
|7||312x4x2351||OXFORD POET||G||5||Kim Waugh||96|
|8||6x21817x9x||RULING DYNASTY||H||4||James Cummings||97|
|9||51x816113x||SACRED MASTER (NZ)||G||4||Chris Waller||95|
|10||324×606634||SHE’S CLEAN||M||7||Chris Waller||98|
|11||8172421545||SNIPPETS LAND||G||5||Peter & Paul Snowden||100|
|13||2811×35611||SUPER TYCOON||G||4||Gregory Mcfarlane||75|
|14||712×070418||TALES OF GRIMM (USA)||G||7||Chris Waller||98|
|15||126×879585||TIMELESS PRINCE||G||6||Tony Newing||84|
|16||4297110×82||ZAYAM (FR)||G||6||Matthew Smith||80|
|17||28316x0x02||ZIN ZAN EDDIE||G||6||Matthew Smith||93|