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Timeform Recap - 2017 Winter Challenge
01 Aug 2017 | Racingandsports.com.au 

Shiraz was able to return to the winners circle when securing a narrow victory in the Listed Winter Challenge (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

Settling off the leaders in fourth for much of the race, the Kim Waugh-trained runner produced a strong effort in the straight along the inside, edging out Classic Uniform over the concluding stages with Slightly Sweet third.

Shiraz had not tasted victory since winning the Group 3 Concorde Stakes at Randwick over two years ago when at his peak but came into the race with solid recent form.

The now eight-year-old gelding returned a Timeform figure of 109, two pounds above his previous effort in the Winter Stakes and the highest since running to 110 in the Eye Liner Stakes last month.

Shiraz is the equal highest winner of the race since Foreteller (113) in 2011, Coup Ay Tee in 2013 and He’s Your Man in 2014 also running to 109.

Last year’s winner Marenostro ran to 108 when beating Oxford Poet which puts Shiraz right around the mark of the winners of the Winter Challenge since it’s inception in 2011.

Of the beaten runners Classic Uniform in second ran to a new career peak of 109, three pounds above his previous best achieved at Rosehill three starts back.

Slightly Sweet in third also continues her solid recent form and ran to 101, two pounds above her win in the Winter Stakes the start prior.

Earlier in the programme Arbeitsam continued his strong form with a win in the three-year-old open (1400m) and certainly looks a horse on the rise.

Taken straight to the lead by Tim Clark, the Waterhouse & Bott-trained runner did enough to hold off The Pharoah Horseform by a length in second with Reach For Heaven Horseform third.

Arbeitsam returned a new career peak Timeform figure of 106, three pounds above his previous effort when runner up over 1800m at Rosehill behind Vaucluse Bay.

With only 11 starts to his name and now a four-year-old, the son of Snitzel looks a versatile gelding going forward with the stable indicating he will be spelled for the Magic Millions meeting in January.

The Pharoah in second also ran to a new career peak Timeform rating of 95, two pounds above his previous best achieved when runner up at Rosehill earlier in the year.

These certainly look the two to follow out of the race in what looked a competitive and relatively strong three-year-old race for this time of the year.

The last two-year-old race of the season saw D’Argento grab his second win in as many career starts, running on well to beat Runaway with Almighty well back in third.

Running to 89p when winning on debut at Newcastle, the Chris Waller-trained runner was much improved on Saturday, returning a Timeform figure of 103.

The son of So You Think looks to have plenty of improvement to come and is one to keep an eye on going into his three-year-old season.

Runaway in second who led throughout doesn’t look far away from a win and ran to 101, eight pounds above his second at Grafton the start prior.

Shiraz improves with age, picture Stevehart.com.au

 


 
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