The 2015 Winter Challenge nominations have been released and imported stayer Disclaimer is a chance of making his return to racing in the Listed event at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Disclaimer has only recorded the one race win since he arrived in Australia after starting his career under the care of Sir Henry Cecil in the United Kingdom, but he has been a consistent performer in staying events over the last 12 months.
He made only a fair start to his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, but he produced a strong staying performance to claim his maiden Australian race win in the Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m) on September 18 and he went on to finished a credible fourth in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on October 4 before he was sent to the spelling paddock following a third place finish in the Listed City Tattersalls Club Cup (2406m) at Royal Randwick on October 18.
Disclaimer started his autumn preparation with flat performances over unsuitable distances in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 14 and the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28, but he was able to produce slightly improved efforts in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 14, the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28 and the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) at Royal Randwick on April 6.
The Dansili gelding made the first public appearance of his spring preparation when he finished sixth behind El Sasso in a barrier trial over 1030 metres at Rosehill Gardens on July 7 and he finished fifth behind Excess Knowledge in a trial over 1200 metres at Royal Randwick on July 20.
Disclaimer could be joined in the Winter Challenge field by stablemate Great Esteem, who finished third behind Twilight Royale and Shamus Award as a two-year-old in the Group 2 Henry Bucks Sires Produce Stakes (1400m).
Great Esteem returned to a semblance of his best form with back-to-back second place finishes in the Cellarbrations Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on July 4 and the TAB.Com.Au Handicap (1550m) at Canterbury on July 25 and will return to black-type racing for the first time since he finished eighth behind Tales Of Grimm in the Listed Scone Cup (1600m) in May.
Gai Waterhouse is another trainer that could have multiple runners in the Winter Challenge field after she included both Liberty’s Choice and Spurtonic in the nominations for the $100,000 event while Chris Waller could have Eigelstein, Rugged Cross and You’ll Never in the Listed race.
The 2015 Winter Challenge nominations are rounded out by John Thompson-trained Canny Ballad, the consistent Keepit To Yourself, Peter Moody-trained Noela’s Choice and Paul Perry-trained Wouldnt It Be Nice.