By Geoff Newling
Last year’s Lismore Cup winner Collaboration will carry 59.5kg in Thursday’s $60,000 Lismore Showcase Cup (2100m), two more than when the seven-year-old gelding son of Halling when blitzed his rivals to win last year’s feature by 10.5 lengths.
However, the Joanne Hardy-trained Coffs Harbour gelding isn’t the Cup topweight and he might have to do it a lot tougher than last year when he drew an inside gate. The Chris Munce-trained Cauthen’s Power (61kg) is the Cup topweight but hasn't fared well in the barrier draws either, Cauthen’s Power drawing 15 and Collaboration 17.
Marcus Wilson’s Meteorologist has 57.5kg and goes from barrier three while Matt Dunn’s Explosive One has 57kg but has also drawn wide in 14. The John Everson-trained Al Shameel has 55kg but pulled the poll position (1) and Stephen Lee’s Scotty Be Gotti has barrier nine and 54.5kg to be the only other horses over the 54kg limit.
For last year’s winner, Collaboration, there hasn’t been winning celebrations since his stunning 2016 success on a Heavy 8 surface. He hasn’t won a race in that 12 month period that included a 36 week spell and seven unplaced runs.
Lismore Turf Club secretary manager, Scott Jones, is confident the club will have 100 runners for Cup day with seven $30,000 Showcase support races.
“Everything is ready to go, the cool rooms are ready, all the paintings been done, the septic systems are right and the drinks will be iced,” Jones said of preparations in a year where his club’s track and facilities were decimated by the major and tragic flood earlier in the year.
The Cup Calcutta will kick off Cup week festivities at the Rous Hotel from around 6pm on Wednesday night.