Promising mare Romantic Moon will have the chance to record her first black type race win in over a year at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday after she was included in the 2014 Winter Challenge field.
Romantic Moon stamped herself as a filly to watch when she took out the Group 3 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, but has been unable to score a black type race win since.
The daughter of More Than Ready joined the Team Cummings stable at the start of her winter preparation and returned to winning form in the Spring Carnival On Sale Now Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on June 28 before finishing an impressive second behind Generalife in the Listed Winter Stakes (1400mm) at the same venue on July 19.
Trainer James Cummings has been happy with the form of Romantic Moon (barrier five) this preparation and he told Racing Ahead that she is a definite winning chance in the Listed event this weekend.
“She is going quiet well and she worked well this morning,” Cummings said yesterday.
“I think that the step back to 1500 is going to be in her favor.
“It was a bit too light for Blake Shinn, but Brenton Avdulla will ride her on Saturday.”
Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller dominated the nominations for the Winter Challenge and he will have four runners in the $100,000 race.
Coup Ay Tee won the 2013 edition of the Winter Challenge and will have the chance to defend his title, while Waller will also have last start winner I’m Imposing (barrier six), Tougher Than Ever (barrier eight) and imported stayer He’s Your Man (barrier three) in the Winter Challenge.
Queenstown (barrier seven) scored an impressive victory in the Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) on July 10 and will be dropping back in distance substantially for the Winter Challenge, as Gai Waterhouse attempts to freshen the Stratum mare up for a 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
Scream Machine (barrier four) will be backing up from the Winter Stakes and trainer Jason Coyle revealed that he is delighted with the condition of his star galloper heading into the Winter Challenge this weekend; with the in-form gelding set to carry the top-weight of 59 kilograms.
Rounding out the 2014 Winter Challenge field is Team Snowden-trained Disclaimer (barrier two), who be having just his third race start in Australia.