Jockey Aaron Bullock aboard Akasawa after winning last year’s Gold Cup.

Almost 200 nominations have been fielded for Sunday’s Gunnedah Gold Cup race meeting.

The nominee list for Gunnedah includes respected Group 1 winning trainers such as Bjorn Baker, Sara Ryan and Kris Lees, among others.

This weekend in Gunnedah, race connections will also be vying for a start in the $3 million ‘Big Dance’ at Royal Randwick.

Gunnedah is one of just 28 country cups from across various regions of NSW used as a qualifying race for the Big Dance. The final field for the Big Dance will be drawn from the winners and second-placed horses of these designated country cups. The 2024 final will be run on November 5.

Gunnedah Jockey Club president Mark Wilkinson said it was massive coup for Riverside Racecourse to host racing and trainers of such high calibre.

“If we are being supported by the top trainers, it shows they recognise Gunnedah as a good, fair track,” he said.

In preparation for this weekend’s racing, the inside rail at Riverside was moved out slightly to a firmer surface.

Sunday’s eight-race card includes the $40,000 Gold Cup and a $50,000 “super maiden” event.

Although race fields were yet to be finalised at the time of publication, the club president said the “good number” of nominations was a
positive sign for the future of racing in Gunnedah.

Off track, the Gold Cup race day will include fashions in the field supported by local business as well as full bar, canteen and on-course bookmaker facilities.

Live entertainment will be provided at the track with courtesy buses available from the Courthouse Hotel.

On Saturday night prior, the hotel will also host a Calcutta – where racegoers can bid for cup starters and win prizemoney if their chosen horse wins on race day.

Marquee tickets are available for the race day but must be booked in advance via the jockey club, contact: [email protected]

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