Trainer Jason Coyle’s well performing mares Slightly Sweet and Berry Delicious are set to match up against each other again in the Listed $150,000 Winter Challenge (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Slightly Sweet proved to be the better of the two with a last stride win in the Listed $150,000 ATC Winter Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on July 15 while Berry Delicious was a length and a half behind her in sixth position.
“She (Berry Delicious) was almost as good as Slightly Sweet,” Coyle told The Daily Telegraph.
“She never really got a clear crack at them but she wasn’t far away at the finish. A few of the other runners in the same race had hard-luck stories as well and the weather probably won’t play in her favour but she has run some really good races on top of the ground.”
Coyle believes that Slightly Sweet will be hard to beat again even though bookmakers at Ladbrokes.com.au have her marked at $12 on Friday afternoon for the Winter Challenge while Berry Delicious is listed as a $26 chance.
“I’ve been fairly positive about this mare’s (Slightly Sweet) preparation throughout and I was disappointed about her not getting a run in the Group 1 in Queensland (Tattersall’s Tiara),” Coyle said.
“Her first-up run at Hawkesbury was probably the only mark on her preparation and outside of that she has been terrific and she hasn’t taken a step backwards (since the Winter Stakes).”
Slightly Sweet has drawn barrier five in the eleven horse Winter Challenge field with regular rider Jess Taylor in the saddle again while Berry Delicious will jump from gate eight with apprentice Rachel King to ride.
The top weight Gold Symphony and the Chris Waller trained Liapari are in a battle for favouritism and are sharing the top spot in the Ladbrokes.com.au market order at $4.80 each on Friday.
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Gold Symphony has Hugh Bowman in the saddle and will jump from barrier three while last start winner Liapari has drawn the outside gate with Brenton Avdulla booked to ride.