Winter Challenge 2020 Race Details

Race 7 at Rosehill this weekend is the Listed Winter Challenge.

The Winter Challenge is a 1500 metre handicap race run by the Australian Turf Club at Rosehill. It is held during July and is the last black-type race of the Sydney racing year.

You can read more about the race history, lead-up races and past winners on the Winter Challenge page.

How to pick a winner

Winter Challenge 2020 Preview

Track: Soft   Weather: Fine

There is a field of 10 runners for the $150,000 Winter Challenge and five of them had their last start in the Listed Winter Stakes over 1400m at Rosehill on 11 July. Three of the runners are trained by Chris Waller, who has trained the runners of 6 winners of this race in 9 years. The early favourite is Mugatoo who resumes here from a 17 week spell  and goes well first-up. He has won 5 of his 11 starts. Second favourite is topweight Noble Boy who won the Winter Stakes last start and has a liking for this track. Third favourite is Order Again who chased hard for 3rd in the Winter Stakes.

Taikomochi is the topweight with 59kg and was 2nd in the Winter Stakes last outing, while Dealmaker finished 4th. Special Missile finished 3rd in this race in 2018 and goes well on soft tracks. Girl Tuesday has recently changed trainers and has struggled this preparation. Sambro ran 7th in the Winter Stakes, while the Matthew Smith pair Invictus Prince and Grey Lion are currently 30 to 1 or longer.

Winter Challenge 2020 Runner by Runner

1. Taikomochi

He resumed for 0.3 length 2nd in the Listed Winter Stakes over 1400m at Rosehill where he led until the 180m where he was headed. At the end of last campaign he was competitive in 2400m races including 2nd in the Group 3 Launceston Cup before spelling, so he will be looking for more ground later in his campaign. It is likely he will lead again but he goes up 1kg. He could well run a place

2. Grey Lion

This Galileo gelding is the oldest runner in the race and is bred for longer distances. He resumed on 4 July in the Listed Winter Championship Final over 1600m at Flemington, where he only beat one runner home in the 16 horse field. As he may take a few runs to reach his best and does not really travel well on soft going, he is unlikely to figure in the finish.

3. Mugatoo

Last preparation he won first-up over 1600m and has two wins and a place from four first-up runs. Mugatoo has a good record on soft going and a strike rate of 5 wins and 2 places from 11 starts. He resumes here from a 17 week break and has trialled at Newcastle on 20 July. One of the main chances.

4. Order Again

After finishing a length 2nd in the Listed Civic Stakes over 1350m at Rosehill on 27 June, he finished 0.3 length, 0.2 length 3rd in the Listed Winter Stakes over 1400m at Rosehill on 11 July. They are both traditional lead-ups to this race, and I expect him to run well again.

5. Girl Tuesday

She is the only mare in the race and has recently changed trainers from Chris Waller to Clarry Connors. This campaign she has struggled in her four runs  and has finished 10th, 8th, 7th then 8th. She did win a Hawkesbury trial on 20 July but is not expected to be in the finish.

6. Noble Boy

Last start he chased hard to win the Listed Winter Stakes by 0.3 length on the heavy track here, where he ran the best last 800m race sectionals of the day at the distance. He likes this track and can handle all types of going, so is one of the main contenders.

7. Dealmaker

He ran 3rd in the Listed Civic Stakes then 0.9 length 4th in the Winter Stakes at his last two outings and is one of three runners for Chris Waller. His race record of 3 wins and 13 places from 28 starts shows he doesn’t win very often , but he could easily place here.

8. Sambro

Another Waller runner, this Fastnet Rock gelding finished 4.3 lengths 6th in the Civic Stakes, then 3.3 lengths 7th in the Winter Stakes. He seems to prefer firmer going and will run his usual honest race.

9. Special Missile

In 2018 he finished 3rd in this race behind Mister Sea Wolf. Last start he finished 0.4 lengths 2nd in the Listed Glasshouse Handicap over 1400m at Sunshine Coast, and could finish in the placings again here.

10. Invictus Prince

This British-import has not had a win in his 12 starts in Australia and his overseas wins have been over further, Not here.

Winter Challenge 2020 Tips

The following are the top 4 selections for this years race.

Jo’s Tips
3 Mugatoo
6 Noble Boy
4 Order Again
1 Taikomochi

2020 Winter Challenge Results

Result Horse Margin
1st 3. Mugatoo (8) Won by 0.8L
2nd 8. Sambro (3)  0.8L
3rd 1. Taikomochi (10) 2.1L
4th 4. Order Again (7) 2.2L