The Winter Challenge meeting will be held at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday (22nd Jul). The course proper was rated a Soft 5 on Thursday and with fine weather in Sydney leading up to the weekend, Rosehill will be racing on a Good track on raceday.
Taormina can make it two wins from two career starts by taking out the Racing For Good On July 29 Handicap (Sydney Race 2, 1200m). The filly displayed good potential when winning on debut at Warwick Farm, sprinting the last 600m in 34.65 secs on a Soft 6 track. Tim Clark is a good front running rider and the 2YO has drawn beautifully in gate 4. Clark will go straight to the lead and Taormina will prove hard to catch.
Top weight Manbehindthemoney had made every post a winner when winning by 1¼ lengths last start at Randwick and he is obviously a big chance in the Kia Ora Prague Handicap (Sydney Race 4, 2400m). The Neasham-trained 4YO has been a model of consistency this preparation breaking through for his first Australian win three starts back followed by a close 2nd to Grebeni and back in the winner’s circle last start. The gelding is rock hard fit and he is ready to step up to 2400m. The in-form Zac Lloyd will claim 1.5kg and he should go forward and sit just behind the leaders. Manbehindthemoney will be the one they all have to beat.
Sibaaq had a successful spring campaign placing in The Big Dance and the Five Diamonds and he looks the testing material in the Winter Challenge (Sydney Race 8, 1500m). Though the gelding hadn’t quite come up in the autumn, the Neahsam stable has reported that the 5YO is in good order and they’ll take the blinkers off to allow Sibaaq to settle better in transit. And 1500m is his pet distance having won three times with two 2nds from eight starts at the trip. Chad Schofield knows the horse well and from barrier 6, he’ll settle just behind the leading bunch and Sibaaq will be ready to pounce round the home turn. Currently at $10.00 fixed odds, Sibaaq represents a value bet.
By Owens Wong