By Geoff Newling
Gunnedah Jockey Club is preparing for a busy start to its new Winter Carnival of Cups.
Nominations for next Thursday’s Somerton Cup meeting at Gunnedah’s spacious Riverside course closed with 159 nominations this morning, although one race, the Arthur Gore Memorial Class 3 Handicap (1400m), has had nominations extended until 11am Monday.
GJC secretary manager, Mark Storey, is delighted with the response to their run of three Cup meetings featuring a Somerton Cup (May 18), Gunnedah Gold Cup (May 28) and Curlewis Cup (July 7).
GJC is promoting them as Gunnedah’s “winter Carnival of Cups” and judging by the good nominations is going to be more than successful for the innovative GJC. Leading off is this Thursday’s Somerton Cup meeting.
“Nominations have been good, real good,” Mark Storey said. “Hopefully the Arthur Gore memorial will get a few more noms after we extended that race as well.”
The Arthur Gore Memorial received 14 nominations for that Class 3 where Armidale filly, Image of Love, a recent Grafton winner for trainer Paul Grills is the top rating benchmarked horse (63). Grills also has recent Armidale winner, Cliveden House, nominated in the Keith Swan Memorial, a benchmarked 65 handicap over 1200m.
Also heading the May 18 card is the Breaker Morant Charge Benchmark 70 Handicap (1000m) with the $20,000 Somerton Cup Benchmark Handicap (1600m) a highlight. It drew 15 nominations today including Gunnedah-trained about Time.
“I was talking to Gavin (Groth) this morning about About Time,” he said of the talented gelding who won the 1250m Binnaway Cup at his last outing. “He’s confident he will run well in the Somerton Cup. If he wins that it might get him a start in the Gunnedah Gold Cup as well.”
The Somerton, Gunnedah and Curlewis Cups are all 1600m races as well. Gunnedah trainers should be well represented at the trio of Cup meetings.
Alex Martyn now has 10 horses in work on the track with Sally Torrens trucking her horses into the track from her nearby stable. For more information on the GJC’s Winter Carnival of Cups contact Mark Storey on 0427 420093 or firstname.lastname@example.org