SIMPLY the best.
That was the general consensus after Albury Racing Club attracted another quality field for Friday’s $170,000 Albury Gold Cup.
Some of the nation’s biggest stables accepted, including owner Lloyd Williams and trainers Peter Moody, David Hayes, Gai Waterhouse and Peter Snowden.
There is also plenty of star power in the jockey ranks with Damien Oliver, Luke Nolen, Steven Arnold, Chad Schofield, Hugh Bowman, Blake Shinn, Craig Newitt and Tim Clark set to ride.
Chris Scholtz, racing editor of Racing and Sports, was full of praise for the field.
“This is the best credentialled field for an Albury Gold Cup,” he said.
“It is a slightly better field than in 2011 when Paddy O’Reilly won, with this year’s field boasting a bit more depth with plenty of group and listed winners.
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“But where it is head and shoulders above 2011 is in the jockey department.
“With Oliver, Nolen, Arnold, Schofield, Bowman, Newitt and Clark you wouldn’t find a better line up of jockeys for a country cup.
“It also looks an intriguing betting race, with no clear favourite and a host of winning chances.”
The powerful Williams stable will have a two-pronged attack with Massiyn and Tanby.
Williams had his first Albury Gold Cup runner three years ago when C’est La Guerre was fifth to Paddy O’Reilly with godson Nicholas Hall aboard.
Some of the gloss was taken off after Royal Ascot winner Sea Moon and Sydney Cup winner Mourayan were non-acceptors.
Canberra Cup winner Jacquinot Bay has been installed the $5 favourite ahead of Williams’ Massiyn at $8.
Last year’s winner Niblick and fourth placegetter Price of Glory, from the Brett Cavanough yard, will represent the locals alongside the Brian Cox-trained Full Hand.
Veteran trainer Alex Aquilina has the second emergency with Olly I Am.