HALL Of Fame trainer David Hayes is likely to defend his Listed Albury Gold Cup crown with multiple runners in the $170,000 feature.
Hayes, pictured, has won the Gold Cup twice, including last year when Extra Zero scored an all-the-way victory with champion jockey Nash Rawiller aboard.
Stablemate Growl also won in 2010 with Rawiller’s younger brother, Brad, the jockey.
Nominations for the 2000-metre feature close tomorrow, with Hayes racing manager Jason Timperley confirming the stable was again keen to win one of NSW’s richest country races.
Timperley said promising stayer Whisper Downs, last-start city winner Auld Burns, German import Why Not and Rock Robster would be nominated.
“David is in Dubai so we haven’t made a final plan, but those four will be definitely nominated, Timperley said.
“Things will become a lot clearer next week when David gets back from Dubai.”
Hayes also plans to have several runners in the supporting races.
Promising filly Clearwater Bay will be nominated for one of the feature races on cup day, the $50,000 Albury Guineas (1400m).
Auld Burns was a last-start winner at Flemington over 1700 metres on Australian Guineas day, defeating the Robert Hickmott-trained Practiced.
Practiced will also be nominated for the Gold Cup.
Auld Burns raced in England before joining the Hayes stable last year.
The lightly raced stayer broke through for his first win in Australia at Flemington at his 10th start for the stable.
Stablemate Whisper Downs finished runner-up to Keep Cool at his most recent start also on Australian Guineas day.
German import Why Not is only a recent addition to the stable and has had two unplaced runs at Flemington.
Rock Robster ran second at Sandown in a midweek meeting at her most recent start on February 27.
Hayes has trained more city winners than any other trainer in the past three months, lifting him to equal third on the metropolitan premiership, one behind Mick Price and 13 behind Peter Moody.