Under The Sun To Defend Winter Stakes Title

By: Thomas Hackett
July 16th, 2014

Under The Sun will have the opportunity to win the Winter StakesĀ for the second year in a row after being included in the final field for the Listed event that will be run at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

Under The Sun won the 2013 edition of the Winter Stakes in dominant fashion.

Under The Sun won the 2013 edition of the Winter Stakes in dominant fashion. Photo by: Steve Hart

Under The Sun was not included in the original nominations for the Winter Stakes that was released on Monday, but trainer Gai Waterhouse opted to include the talented gelding as a late entry after nominations were extended.

The No Excuse Needed gelding has not recorded a race win since he took out the Winter Stakes last year and failed to fire in three starts during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, failing to beat home a runner in both the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) and Listed National Sprint (1400m), before returning to the races with a lackluster effort in the Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton on July 9.

Under The Sun will face nine rivals in the Winter Stakes; with leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller including Coup Ay Tee, Tromso, Tougher Than Ever and Hidden Kisses in the final field for the $100,000 race.

Coup Ay Tee finished third behind Under The Sun in the 2013 edition of the race and will have the chance to return to winning form, while Tromso finished fourth behind Irish Dream in the 2012 Winter Stakes.

Tougher Than Ever was far to be lame after he finished a distant ninth in the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) at Rosehill Gardens on July 5 and connections are hoping that he can return to the form that he showed when fourth behind Scream Machine in the Sydney Markets Limited Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on June 14.

Civic Stakes winner Generalife and the in-form Scream Machine are set to battle for favouritism in Winter Stakes betting markets, but Scream Machine may require a bit of luck after drawing the outside barrier for the feature race.

Scream Machine has recorded two impressive wins since he returned to Sydney after finishing sixth at Group 1 level in the Doomben 10,000 (1350m) during the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and is chasing his second black type race win after taking out the Wagga Wagga Gold Cup (2000m) last year.

Generalife has also won his last two race starts and will prove very difficult to beat if he can replicate his Civic Stakes performance, where he won by a comfortable two and a half lengths despite laying in during the final stages of the race.

The 2014 Winter Stakes field is rounded out by the Team Cummings-trained duo of The Peak (barrier five) and Romantic Moon (barrier eight) as well as consistent three-year-old Wouldnt It Be Nice (barrier nine).

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