Rosehill Gold Cup 2023 homecoming for in-form Shibli

It is said a change is as good as a holiday and the Chris Waller-trained Shibli has been enjoying a little of both.

Down on form and confidence, the gelding was sent to Queensland for a hit-and-run mission last year where he broke a 13-month drought from the winner’s stall with a victory at Beaudesert.

Waller sent him north again to start his latest campaign and after a first-up fourth at Doomben, Shibli has strung together a hat-trick of wins to earn a return to his home track for Saturday’s $750,000 Rosehill Gold Cup (2000m).

“He is ultra-consistent. He’s a tough old gelding and he deserves his chance to come and race down here for enormous prizemoney,” Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth said.

“He has gone from strength to strength. Every time he goes up in the handicap mark, he goes out and wins again.

“He has been really progressive.”

Waller will have up to four runners in Saturday’s race with Great House, who was runner-up to Shibli at Eagle Farm last start, Political Debate and No Compromise joining their stablemate in the race.

No Compromise backs up from a solid fifth to Zeyrek in the Craven Plate (1800m) at Randwick last weekend, while Political Debate is coming off a second to exciting import Unspoken over 1600m at Randwick last month.

Group 1 placed in the J J Atkins at two, Political Debate hasn’t won for 17 months but Duckworth believes he has the quality to feature.

“He is still relatively lowly rated considering he ran second in a J J Atkins,” he said.

“He has been really looking for the 2000.

“He’s got the form, he’s got the pedigree, he’s got the looks. He’s just got to go out and do it now.”

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