SUNDAY’S Wangaratta Cup could attract the strongest field in recent memory, with several of the most powerful stables in Victoria nominating for the feature event yesterday.
The $80,000 race attracted 35 entries, headed by three entries from the Moe stables of Peter Gelagotis.
Gelagotis has nominated stakes-winning galloper Hvasstan, alongside talented stayer Mourinho and veteran gelding Belgietto.
The stable is a previous winner of Wangaratta’s premier race with Module two years ago.
Mike Moroney — who won the feature mile last year with Lordoftheparrots — could have a two-pronged attack in the race with stablemates Sabrage and Saint Or Sinner.
Adding further intrigue, in-form Caulfield trainer Peter Moody has nominated Irish import Ancient King.
It could be Ancient King’s Australian debut after running third in the group 2 Italian Derby at his most recent start in May.
Local trainers are also well represented, with John and Chris Ledger (Better Be Sure), Libby Haworth (Auramour), Daniel McCarthy (Dance Man), Gary Aldridge (Ready Zuca), Brian Cox (Bringenbrong and Full Hand) and Brett Cavanough (Game Of Shadows and Price Of Glory) among the entries.
Wangaratta Turf Club chief executive Paul Hoysted said the encouraging nominations were reward for the work the club had undertaken to make the cup meeting a feature fixture of Victoria’s Relaxed Racing campaign.
“We’ve worked hard with Racing Victoria and the Victorian Government to take the cup meeting to another level and we feel it is starting to pay dividends,” he said.
“Prizemoney across the entire day is up $105,000 on last year and we feel this has been reflected in the quality nominations received for all races.
“We have already got over 1000 already booked in for our raceday packages, which is almost double the same time last year.”
Geelong great Bill Brownless will be a special guest of the club with WIN television weather presenter Jane Bunn judging fashions on the field.
Australian ’80s rock band The Black Sorrows will play between races seven and eight with Ross Wilson to entertain the crowd after the last.
Weights are released today with the final field to be declared at 11am tomorrow.