Cloud over Orange Gold Cup preparations

RAIN appears likely to put a damper on the Orange Gold Cup preparations of several provincial trainers ahead of tomorrow’s TAB race meeting at Towac Park.

After the drenching the region received yesterday and on Thursday, any follow-up rain this morning will result in Racing Orange officials calling Central District stewards to assess the state of the Towac Park track.

Racing Orange interim chief executive officer Daniel Brincat said any further rain would put the meeting in doubt, but was hopeful the inclement weather would ease long enough for the meeting to run as per program.

“If it gets to a point where it’s in doubt we’ll get the stewards down from Dubbo,” Brincat said.

“The earlier the better. We’ve got plenty of people travelling so if we can let them know sooner rather than later it’s probably a good thing.”

A handful of contenders for April’s Orange Gold Cup (1600m) are due to run in the Crowe Horwarth Benchmark 75 Handicap (1600m) tomorrow with the view of progressing to the $50,000 Cup.

Adding intrigue in a small but select field tomorrow, the benchmark 75 race is headed by the Mudgee-trained Lancelot, a winner of eight races and more than $100,000 in stakes. 

The four-year-old gelding followed a win in the Gilgandra Cup in January with a win over Sunday’s course and distance at Towac Park on February 10, making light of 61 kilograms.

Canberra-trained Celtic Soul makes its first visit to Towac Park after winning the Moruya Cup over 2000m in January. 

A son of royally-bred Irish stallion Song of Tara in the hands of the experienced trainer Rado Boljun, the gelding has been freshened since its most recent start and will be ridden by two kilogram claiming apprentice Deanne Penya.

The Gulgong stable of Brett Thompson also provides a leading chance in the race with the Zariz gelding Slate on Edge to be ridden by Winona Costin.

Likely to scratch his chance, Orange trainer Brian Buckley said the Towac Park conditions wouldn’t suit Capello.

He believes most of the runners in tomorrow’s race will be back in a bid to claim the Orange Gold Cup.

“I think they will,” he said.

“With Capello, it ran well over the 2100 metres at Hawkesbury and was third our fourth for the majority of the way but as soon as he hit the straight it was slush.”

Weather permitting, Buckley has a host of chances on show during Racing Orange’s Family Fun Day meeting, with The Other Girl, Kimber and Hard Rock featuring on the day’s seven-race program.

Buckley said The Other Girl was potentially his best chance.

“If she doesn’t get in trouble for being immature then she should probably win,” he added.

Entry tomorrow is just $10 for adults with children admitted free. Gates open at noon. 

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