Riverside trainer Gavin Groth will fly the flag for Gunnedah in the $40,000 Mannion Drilling Showcase Gunnedah Gold Cup on Sunday.

The premier event, Cup day, on the Gunnedah racing calendar has drawn a phenomenal 230 nominations, the highest in living memory, for the eight-race card, which will carry a record $252,000 prizemoney.

Gunnedah Jockey Club President Kevin Edmonds said the “huge” nominations would guarantee full fields in nearly all races, with final acceptances and weights to be declared on Thursday.

“We’re overjoyed with the response from owners and trainers and we’re looking forward to a memorable day,” he said.

Resident trainer Gavin Groth will saddle up seven-year-old mare Annie’s Street in the Cup race over 1600 metres and is confident of a bold showing.

Annie’s Street has been a consistent performer and has won five races and filled nine placings from 35 starts for the Groth stable, amassing $97,000 in prizemoney, and the trainer is eying off the $19,000 first prize.

Racing off a benchmark of 70, Annie’s Street was a close fourth over 1400 metres at her last start, in the Gooree Cup at Mudgee JC, a few weeks ago.

“She finished the race off well and her trackwork since then has been really solid, so we’re hopeful,” he said.

Of the 31 nominations for the Cup, Annie’s Street’s benchmark rating of 70 is below seven of the remaining runners but Groth has set the mare for the Cup and says she is “fit and raring to go.” 

Groth will have a strong hand in the Cup-day programme with Bring The Joy, winner of eight races for the
stable, well-placed in the distance event, the H. and M. Refrigeration Showcase Handicap over 2050 metres. The mare is part-owned by locals David Anderson and Phil Brookes.

Groth is also keen on the chances of Charge Extra in the Thomson Electrical Maiden Plate, of 1400 metres, after a promising last-start second and Foreign Brother, a four-year-old 
gelding which has won two races and run three placings in his last five starts. Foreign Brother will contest the Ultra-Fleet Handicap (1400 metres).

Gunnedah’s other trainer Sally Torrens has nominated Free Thinker in the same race but the four-year-old was galloped on at his last appearance and may not start.

GJC president Kevin Edmonds said Cup day had become Gunnedah’s biggest race day and the club was expecting a large crowd on Sunday.

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