By Geoff Newling
Almost 200 horses have been entered for Sunday’s Gunnedah Gold Cup meeting to celebrate the Gunnedah Jockey Club’s 150th year of racing.
33 are hoping to gain a start in the $30,000 Hopefuel Gunnedah Gold Cup (1600m) with the support races receiving strong nominations as well.
GJC chairman Kevin Edmonds is delighted by the response and is confident of a great day out.
Nominations for the Gunnedah Cup also include last week’s Somerton Cup winner Cervinia, as promised by Wyong trainer Damien Lane.
She’s not the only winner from the Thursday Somerton Cup meeting nominated for the Cup.
Coonamble trainer Cecil Hodgson also entered A Magic Zariz, who won last Thursday’s Arthur Gore Memorial (1400m) at Gunnedah’s picturesque Riverside Racecourse.
Hodgson said at the time he thought the Cup might “be a bit solid” but relented to nominate the lightly raced four-year-old gelding.
He had watched A Magic Zariz win standing by Lane, who also hails from Coonamble and who had Mosaytion finish a half length to A Magic Zariz.
“Good to beat the big fella,” Cecil Hodgson joked at the time.
He could be lining up to beat “the big fella” again as Lane has nominated Bench Star as well as Cervinia for the Gunnedah Cup.
Newcastle’s Paul Perry also has a pair of nominees for the Cup - Peggy’s Cove and Somerton Cup runner-up Torquay.
Quirindi’s Geoff O’Brien has nominated Blood Red Moon and Rena’s Lad while fellow Quirindi trainers Scott Thompson and Peter Mills are represented by Valatia and Cocktail Time, both of whom ran nice thirds at Gunnedah.
Valatia ran on strongly under a big weight (61kg) in the Somerton Cup to be beaten just over two lengths while Cocktail Time was just over two lengths away from Keith Swan Memorial winner Iwatani.
Peter Mills said before the race his gelding needed a “good blowout” as a lead-up to a possible Gunnedah Gold Cup and that’s exactly what the son of Sippin’ Bourbon got.