Sunday's Goulburn Cup program more than holds its own among a host of spring racing events at this time of year. The eight-race card is a Racing NSW Country Showcase meeting and despite ongoing rain, just about everywhere in NSW acceptances for the program are strong.
Whether it's the $200,000 David Alt Electrical Goulburn Cup, the Spendthrift Guy Walter Fillies & Mares Class 3 ($50 000) or the Graeme Spackman Country Magic ($50 000), there is plenty of depth to keep punters interested.
Goulburn Race Club's CEO, Robyn Fife said that the region always welcomes rain but it's not the ideal scenario leading into Sunday: "It's been over a month since our last meeting and the track has been looking great despite continued recent rain," Ms Fife said.
"We hope to see some super competitive racing come Sunday as the program looks a strong one on paper. The Cup boasts a bit of quality about it through The Kosciuszko near misses Man Of Peace and Handle The Truth.
"It's also great to see Noble Boy back for another tilt this year along with entries from the in-form Baker and O'Shea stables.
This year's edition of The Guy Walter has also attracted a competitive field with nine of the sixteen acceptors having finished in the top three at their last start."
Ms Fife also said Cup day is an opportunity for the club to work towards a strong finish to what has been a COVID-impacted 2020.
"Our thanks go to Racing NSW for its ongoing support of our Cup day and racing in the tablelands throughout the year. We also appreciate the integral involvement of our raceday partners on Sunday."
Goulburn Cup Day kicks off with Race 1 at 1.15pm on Sunday and the track is currently rated a Heavy 10. Here's a quick race-by-race reckoner with current TAB Fixed Odds for punters keen to follow Sunday's Goulburn Cup program.
RACE 1 - STORAGE KING GOULBURN SHOWCASE MAIDEN HANDICAP, 1600M
Nu Jiang ($3.70) - has been close up in both provincial runs to date. Legal Challenge ($3.30) - respect on the quick back up for an in-form stable. She's Justified ($3.20 favourite) - edging closer to a breakthrough.
RACE 2 - SEMCO COUNTRY MAIDEN SHOWCASE PLATE, 1200M
Dancin Till Dawn ($6) - carries consistent country form into this and senior rider back on. One Man Band ($7) - handles all conditions and Collett taking the reins a big plus. Newtown Braveheart ($10) - skated home nicely on debut and capable of a bigger payday. Danzadel ($13) - caught the eye late on debut at Nowra and drawn much sweeter.
RACE 3 - HIBERNIAN HOTEL BENCHMARK 66 SHOWCASE HANDICAP, 1200M
Skyray ($2.40 fav) - low flying of late and handles it soft. Big weight but latest win a screamer. Ons Vier ($21) - handy mare suited at this level. Unlucky in latest and track & trip stats strong. Shanaya ($5) - sharp win at this venue in latest offering and kept fresh since. Against The Tide ($10) - close up in all three runs this time in and races well here.
RACE 4 - GOULBURN SOLDIERS CLUB CLASS 1 SHOWCASE HANDICAP, 1400M
Bluff N Bluster ($8.50) - consistent customer suited in the wet despite the big weight. Solar Flash ($5) - converting results to cash early and maiden winner at this trip in latest. Astero ($6.50) - dominant winner first-up on a wet track and drawn a soft gate. Azoustic ($16)- value hope from a local stable after clocking handy sectionals at past two.
RACE 5 - JEWELL BUILDERS CLASS 2 SHOWCASE HANDICAP, 1600M
Benfica Maid ($10) - loves this trip and is a wet track wizard. Third up pay to follow. Seduction Queen ($3.10 fav) - lightly raced type looking for this trip now. Moon Panther ($16) - rock hard fit and find this easier than recent contests. Ivira ($9.50) - provincial placed at her past two over similar trips.
RACE 6 - GRAEME SPACKMAN COUNTRY MAGIC B66 SHOWCASE HANDICAP, 1600M
Rent A Rock ($3.70) - ideally placed third-up after 2 recent runner-up results in TAB Highway Handicaps. Vee Eight ($12) - loves it genuinely wet and races well on home patch. Mr Kylin ($3.60 fav) - tough on-pace type in career-best form but a slight query at this trip. Trying ($26) - can turn some plain form around on a wet track.
RACE 7 - DAVID ALT ELECTRICAL GOULBURN CUP, 1400M
Handle The Truth ($3.40 fav) - last year's runner-up peaking after two classy efforts from a spell. Soldier Of Love ($6.50) - loves a wet track and recent trials suggest a big run fresh. Man Of Peace ($6) - The Kosciuszko placegetter who loves it wet and finds his right trip. Al Mah Haha ($9)- well-weighted on his home track and due for a change of luck.
RACE 8 - SPENDTHRIFT / GUY WALTER - F&M CLASS 3 HANDICAP, 1300M
Miss Twilight ($6.50) - very genuine mare doing everything right this campaign. Turnstyle ($7.50) - screamed home first-up in strong company and has plenty of upside. Perfect Pitch ($12) - consistent mare set to improve sharply second-up. Ruby Tuesday ($5.50 fav) - in mojo form this time in and gets the gun run.