While most trainers are looking forward to Sydney tracks drying out, Matthew Smith has mixed feelings with his team heading to Rosehill.
Zin Zan Eddie, the stable’s hope in Saturday’s Listed Winter Challenge (1500m), has a good record on all surfaces but loves being on wet ground.
He is unlikely to get it as wet as he prefers but Smith is banking on the cool weather to keep the track in the soft range.
“He runs well on all surfaces but he’s beaten Group horses on wet ground,” Smith said.
“He is a superior wet tracker and the dry weather takes away a bit of his advantage but the track will still be slow.
“As long as it’s got some give in it, that the main thing.”
Zin Zan Eddie finished a close second to Oxford Poet in the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on July 16 and will take on the Kim Waugh-trained winner again in Saturday’s $150,000 race.
Smith also entered stablemate Zayam in the Winter Challenge but said he preferred to run him in the 2000m-benchmark race on the program.
The French import finished second over 1600m at Randwick on July 9 and the trainer said he believed he was looking for further.
“I’m leaning to the 2000 metre race. He has won over 2000 metres at Randwick and 1800 at Rosehill and I think he will be better over more ground,” Smith said.
There were 17 entries taken on Monday for the Winter Challenge but three-year-old Suboric is also unlikely to run with trainer Gerald Ryan to save him for another week.
“I think the Winter Challenge against open company might be too strong for him,” Ryan said.
“There’s a benchmark 85 over 1600 metres at Randwick the following week which looks more suitable.”
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Snippets Land, who finished fifth in the Winter Stakes, is the 59kg topweight for the Winter Challenge with Oxford Poet to carry 57kg and Zin Zan Eddie 55.5kg.