Friday at Towac Park looks to be one of the bests day's racing seen in Orange for quite some time. Racing NSW has thrown its support behind racing in Orange with $290,000 in prizemoney up for grabs with the highlights being the Craig Jaques Surveyors Orange Gold Cup, Steeline Cup Day Sprint and the CSR Lightweight Systems Silver Apple.
As it is a Showcase program, all races on the day will have a minimum of $30,000 prizemoney which is a great incentive for owners, trainers and jockeys in the Central West.
The Craig Jaques Orange Gold Cup to be run over 2100m is one of the oldest Country Cups in NSW with the race being first run in 1870. This year's edition looks to be one of the strongest in recent history given the early nominations and strong support from trainers.
Left: Forreel is set to contest Friday's Orange Cup Showcase. Image by - Janian McMillan
Bjorn Baker, whose galloper Mr Steal won last year's Cup, heads up the nominations with Crossley Hotshot and Forreel looking to give Baker successive Orange Cups. Forreel is undoubtably a horse with untapped potential winning three of her 10 starts and no doubt she would be the best bred and most valuable horses running around on Friday.
Forreel is a half sister to the inaugural Championship winner It's A Dundeel who is now standing at stud, no doubt her future will be as a valuable broodmare but a win in the Orange Cup would do no damage to her breeding credentials.
Other nominations in the cup include multiple city winner Chaquinta who has won five races after a rather inauspicious start to her career breaking her maiden status in a 2100m race at Orange Picnics two years ago, since then she has raced in Group and listed company. Citations from the Greg Hickman stable at Warwick Farm, which has enjoyed great success at Orange recently, is coming off a last start 2nd at Canterbury and should be extremely competitive.
Hirokin also from Warwick Farm ran a great 3rd in the Orange Cup Prelude and the gelding looks to be crying out for the 2100m distance on Friday. Other strong chances include Old Habits which has been racing recently in metropolitan Queensland, More Energy who ran a great 5th in the Albury Cup last start and last start Goulburn winner Fly Til Dawn. Orange trainers are represented with Brad Draper nominating Eva Jean for the Cup.
The Steeline Cup Day Sprint looks to be one of the best sprint races to be run west of the Blue Mountains for quite along time. Golden Slipper-winning trainer Gary Portelli has nominated the flying Bella Vino who comes off two last start seconds at Moonee Valley, prior to that Bella Vino was successful at Kembla Grange on two occasions.
Last start impressive Orange winner Run Sally Run has been nominated and is unbeaten at Towac Park in her two runs. Arguably the two best sprinters from the Central Districts in Cowra-trained Zahron the winner of 11 from his 27 starts and Lake Lugano from Forbes the winner of 7 from 12 starts have also been nominated, other runners include Randwick winner Ice Bucket who is unbeaten at Towac Park and the last start feature sprint winner on Wellington Boot day Sky Mission.
The CSR Lightweight Systems Silver Apple is the feature 2yo race on the Racing orange calendar. Its very pleasing to see a strong list of nominations with 17 runners being nominated for the feature race.
Master trainer of 2yos Gerald Ryan has nominated two runners for the Silver Apple including Heartaches who is by the leading sire at the moment Snitzel and Ikaba who started favourite in the Wellington Boot at its first race start.
The owners of Golden Slipper Winner She Will Reign, Darby Racing are represented by Mileage who ran a nice race at Warwick Farm after showing high potential in two barrier trials prior to her first start. Other recent barrier trial winners in Sydney that have been nominated include the Allan Kehoe-trained Nora Girl, Miss Demi from the Marc Conners stable at Warwick Farm, Shazzannell trained by Tracey Bartley at Wyong and Fifth Affair trained by Garry White at Hawkesbury.
Local Orange trainers look to be well represented with Alison Smith nominating the in-form Strada Prince and Missy Rhythmos, Brad Draper nominating last start Narromine runner up Yu Jin and his promising mare Eva Jean, Michael Plummer has nominated Ephriam and Royal Abbey.
Racing will commence on Friday at 12:45pm on what looks to be a great day's racing. Tickets are available online and there are still some tickets available for the function areas on the day, there will be great prizes on the day for Fashions on the Field and a courtesy bus will be running from Robertson Park on the day. Visit - Racing Orange