By Geoff Newling
Greg Hickman nominated a two-pronged attack on his home town $30,000 Hopefuel Gunnedah Cup (1600m) next Monday but may run just one of his Sydney stable.
The Warwick Farm-based trainer, who was born in Gunnedah and started his training career there before moving to Warwick Farm in 1990, has nominated Braces and Dream Folk for the metric mile feature which was originally washed out earlier this year.
However, Racing NSW found another date for the seven-race TAB Cup meeting and the GJC received 124 nominations on Tuesday. Two of those were for Braces and Dream Folk, both prepared at Warwick Farm by Hickman, who would dearly love to win his home town Cup.
Braces is a six-year-old gelding son of Duporth who has won four of his 32 starts and been placed another 11 times for $160,837 in prizemoney. He comes off a last start sixth to Coolcraft in a Kembla Grange benchmark 76 handicap while stablemate, Dream Folk, has had one run back from a 22 week spell.
An eight-year-old gelding son of Dream Ballad, Dream Folk has won seven of his 59 races for $290,955 in prizemoney for his Walcha syndicate which includes Brian Turton and Matt Macarthur-Onslow. While Hickman has nominated the talented pair he said Braces “probably won’t run”.
“Dream Folk will have a gallop in the morning and we’ll see what the weights play,” Greg Hickman said today. “If everything is sweet he will go.”
He said the fact Dream Folk is owned and raced by a Walcha syndicate headed by Brian Turton was another major factor as well as the fact it was also worth another $5000 in prizemoney for the BOBS Extra.
Gunnedah Jockey Club secretary, Mark Storey, said the nominations (126) weren’t as good as had been hoped, number-wise but “the quality of the field” is better. He said the nomination of “Greg’s two” was a major lift to the quality of the field.
“We’re really happy with the calibre of the horses for the Cup,” he said. “Should be a good race and a great day.”