‘Astronomical’ nominations for the weekend’s Gold Cup showcase meeting has left Dubbo Turf Club general manager Vince Gordon delighted.
Gordon is calling on people in their droves to get to the track on Sunday to see “how good racing is in Dubbo” on what is one of the club’s premier days of racing.
A massive 233 nominations was received for the nine-race meeting on Tuesday, with 30 of those for the $60,000 Dubbo City Toyota Gold Cup (1600m).
With a benchmark rating of 85, the Clare Cunningham-trained Sir Barb is the highest-rated horse to be put forward for the feature event.
The Warwick Farm trainer saw the gelding win at his home track just two starts back.
Other highly-rated nominees include the Cecil Hodgson-trained A Magic Zariz, and Disturbance, trained at Canberra by Barbara Joseph and Paul and Matt Jones.
“You look at the cup and there’s plenty of class,” Gordon said.
“There’s a few locals and with 30 nominations for a 16-horse race there’s going to be 14 disappointed horses.
“But looking at the class of horses and the benchmark ratings, there’s an 85-rater in there.”
The fact Sunday will be a showcase meeting with a minimum prizemoney of $30,000 per race has also helped the club again attract quality nominations and help the club achieve it’s goal of making Gold Cup Day one of the most prestigious in the region.
“This is one of the two best days of the year from a racing point of view,” Gordon said of the Dubbo Turf Club calendar.
“There’s the Country Championships and this one, they’re the two feature days. We’re building this feature weekend up with the calcutta and the Picnic Championship Final as well.”
The inaugural picnic final was a huge success last year, with trainers, jockeys and owners loving the rare chance to race for $50,000.
Points are earned by the horses during picnic meetings and the ones with the most get the chance to race in Sunday’s final.
“And with two marquees it’s going to be a really great day for people to come out and see how good racing is in Dubbo,” Gordon said.
Final fields for Sunday’s showcase meeting at Dubbo Turf Club are released on Thursday.