27 horses remain in contention for the 125th running of the Winning Edge Presentations sponsored Winter Cup, at the Canterbury Jockey Club Grand National Festival of Racing, after second withdrawals closed on Wednesday 20 July 2022.
VERRY FLASH holds favouritism at $4.50 ahead of fellow Kevin Myers stablemate KICK ON at $5.50 and the late entry FRANKIE THE FOX, TIMES TICKING and WILD ROVER on the third line of betting at $8.50.
The $100,000 Group 3 event is the feature race on the first day of the three-day Festival held Saturday 6, Wednesday 10 and Saturday 13 August 2022.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing stakes increases result in the two open jumping races on the first day having stakes of $50,000. The Avon City Ford Sydenham Hurdles provides the dress-rehearsal for the $100,000 Hospitality NZ Canterbury Grand National Hurdles on the second day and the Racecourse Hotel & Motor Lodge Koral Steeplechase plays the same role for the 147th running of the Grand National Steeplechase carrying the same sponsor on the last day.
Nominations for both ‘Grand Nationals’ close at noon on Friday 5 August so that horses can run on the first day and be exempt from any rehandicap should they win.
Other jumps races at the Festival are a $20,000 Maiden Steeplechase (3200m) on the first day, a $30,000 0-2 win Steeplechase (4100m) and a $20,000 Maiden Hurdle race (3100m) on the second day and a $30,000 0-1 win Hurdle race (3100m) on the last day.
The first and third days will be conducted on the turf Course Proper whilst in a significant change this year, the flat races on the middle day will be held on the Polytrack. In use for training at last years Grand National Festival, racemeetings have been held fortnightly on the Polytrack since Thursday 5 May. The middle day of the Festival continues that pattern.
A regular feature of the middle day is the Nautical Insurance Grand National Amateur Championship. Amateur riders will compete in a Rating 65 event over the 2200 metres Polytrack course for a stake of $30,000.
Open Handicap Races also carry a $5,000 stake increase to be $40,000 over 1200 metres first day, 2200 metres second day and 1800 metres and 1400 metres on the third day.