Trainer Clare Cunningham is confident that last start Rosehill winner Noble Boy won’t have any trouble handling the step up to the 1500m of the Listed $150,000 Winter Challenge at Rosehill on Saturday.
Noble Boy won his first race for Cunningham since coming into her stable at the beginning of the year with his victory in the Listed $150,000 Winter Stakes over 1400m at Rosehill on July 11 and the Warwick Farm trainer can see the five year old handling the extra 100m.
“Obviously we’re guided by Jason’s opinion because he rides him on race day and he thinks he should be able to get the 1500 metres and even a mile the way he is travelling,” Cunningham told AAP.
“He thinks if he can ride him that bit more in his comfort zone it shouldn’t be a bother.”
Jockey Jason Collet has been aboard Noble Boy for three of his last four starts, including his last start win in the Winter Stakes, and he is happy with the way the gelding has been settling in his races.
“For us he’s been settling very well in his races,” Cunningham said.
“I’m not too sure if it’s the Rosehill track or just the horse but if anything we’ve been riding him out of his comfort zone just to get him to keep up and position up in pretty much all his starts this preparation.”
Cunningham, can’t fault the way Noble Boy has come through the Winter Stakes run and can’t see why he won’t be competitive again.
“You couldn’t have asked for him to pull up any better, really,” Cunningham said.
“Like most good horses, they have a great constitution.
“We’ve got a few more days to get through before Saturday but I’m really happy.
“Hopefully we draw a nice enough barrier to get in front of a couple in the run and he should run another good race.
“If they all accept then he probably will be in slightly better company than last start, so that will be another step up for him.”
Noble Boy is one of eleven nominations for the Winter Challenge along with Winter Stakes placegetters Taikomochi and Order Again.