Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller will have plenty of chances to claim his second straight win in the Winter Challenge (1500m) after he included seven gallopers in the nominations for the Listed event that will be held at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Coup Ay Tee scored an upset win over stablemate Bayrir in the 2013 edition of the Winter Challenge and he will be given the opportunity to score back-to-back wins in the $100,000 event; with the tough gelding set to be joined in the field by stablemates Bagman, Eigelstein, He’s Your Man, I’m Imposing, Lucky Chappy and Tougher Than Ever.
Lucky Chappy will be returning to the races for the first time since he failed to fire in the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5, while imported stayer He’s Your Man will be having the second start of his preparation after he resumed with a third place finish in the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) at Rosehill Gardens on July 5.
Gai Waterhouse is the only other trainer that is a chance of having multiple runners in the Winter Challenge after she included both Danas Best and Queenstown in the entries for the Listed event.
Danas Best has not been seen at the races since she finished fourth behind stablemate Ecuador in the TAB Rewards Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 15, but he performed well in a barrier trial at Royal Randwick on July 18, where he beat home a field that included Melbourne Cup favourite The Offer.
Queenstown has performed well in all three starts this preparation and she will be dropping back in trip after she scored a comfortable three lengths victory in the Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) on July 10.
Romantic Moon ran home strongly to finish second behind Generalife in the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on July 19 and she will have the chance to score her first black type win since she took out the 2013 edition of the Group 3 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m).
Also backing-up from the Winter Stakes will be Scream Machine, who made up plenty of ground late to finish third in the Listed event.
The Excites gelding won over the track and distance of the Winter Challenge in the Natski Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on June 28 and is set to start this weekend’s race as one of the favourites.
Rounding out the Winter Challenge field is Team Snowden-trained imported stayer Disclaimer, who performed fairly in his first preparation in Australia during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.