Shiraz gobbles up the 2017 Winter Challenge

Tom Walter - Saturday July 29

Veteran galloper Shiraz put a bizarre biting incident behind him to win Saturday's Listed Winter Challenge (1500m) at Rosehill.

Jason Collett drives the Kim Waugh-trained Shiraz to victory in the 2017 Winter Challenge at Rosehill. Photo: Steve Hart

Shiraz had been put on notice by stewards after attempting to savage rival runner Burning Passion in the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago.

The gelding's antics had cost him any chance of winning the race, beaten less than half a length in fourth.

But it was all smooth sailing for connections on Saturday as Shiraz ($7.50) utilised a box-seat run under Jason Collett to score at his first try beyond 1400m and break a winless drought tracing back to September 2015.

Trainer Kim Waugh, who was given Shiraz to train towards the end of last year, said she had never lost faith in the rising eight-year-old despite being hampered by a hoof problem earlier in the preparation.

"I know a few people had given up on him but his work has been sharp and really good," Waugh said.

"He pulled half his foot off a few weeks ago and we had the equilox (adhesive hoof repair system) in. That was a real problem so today has been very pleasing.

"I just wanted to win this race today. The owners have been so patient – they're great people and deserve the win."

Gary Moore's Classic Uniform ($6) finished a short head away in second while the Jason Coyle-trained Slightly Sweet ($12) was held up for much of the home straight before grabbing third, beaten another 1-1/4 lengths.

 

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