Group 2 winner Chief Ironside is set to lead Kris Lees’ quest for back-to-back Listed Winter Challenge (1500m) successes at Rosehill on Saturday where nominations have been extended for the feature race.
Chief Ironside was one of two Lees contenders among a small list of 10 nominations for the $150,000 event with the 2019 Crystal Mile winner joined by former Singapore galloper Countofmontechristo.
Lees won last year’s edition of the Winter Challenge with star galloper Mugatoo, which went on to win the Group 3 Newcastle Cup as well as runner-up in The Metropolitan and fourth in the Cox Plate, but he will miss this spring through injury.
Nominations for this year’s edition have been extended until Tuesday morning with the Lees duo joined by three from the Chris Waller camp, who will be attempting to win the race for the sixth time in eight years.
Winter Stakes placegetters True Detective and Order Again have been nominated alongside Group 2 winner Sambro.
Lightly-raced Godolphin import Ziegfeld was fourth in the Winter Stakes and will head to the Challenge second up for just his third start on Australian shores while the consistent Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou-trained Cisco Bay and John O‘Shea’s Kirwan’s Lane have also been nominated.
A maximum field of 12 runners can line up so unless there are several late nominations all those currently in the running will get a start.
The July Sprint (1100m) has also only attracted a small list of entries with just seven horses among the nominations including talented Godolphin duo Isaurian and Gaulois.
Rosehill was rated a soft (7) on Monday with mostly dry conditions throughout the week.
Final fields for the 10-race card will be declared on Wednesday morning.
Originally published asNominations extended for Winter Challenge
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