Champion David Smith-trained gelding Distinctive Look looks set to defend the Angullong Banjo Paterson Cup title he stormed to in 2017 after nominating for the $30,000 race on Monday.
Fields will be formalised on Thursday morning when acceptances are taken for the Racing Orange TAB meeting on Saturday, but Smith’s five-year-old is one of the clear stars in a pretty decent field.
Distinctive Look won the 1300m feature race during the second richest meeting held annually at Towac Park 12 months ago before eventually storming to victory in the Country Championship’s Central Districts qualifier at Wellington a month later.
Distinctive Look won’t qualify for this year’s championship heat, to be staged at Mudgee on February 25.
Smith’s biggest opposition to two Banjo Paterson Cups in succession appears likely to come from stables of Gulgong trainer Brett Thompson, who has nominated Slate On Edge for Saturday’s race in Orange.
Slate Of Edge is a high benchmark grey gelding with 10 wins next to his name, one of those being at Towac Park, while Attalea, is coming off a win at Narromine on February 4, which follows a third, second and another win in his three starts prior.
Elsewhere in the field, Garry Lunn’s Oskastar ran second behind country championship hopeful Prince of Thebes in his last start at Towac and Ultima Chance is coming off a win in the Braidwood Cup, which is over 1350m.
The Banjo Paterson Cup meeting has seven races, with the XXX Gold Benchmark 50 handicap drawing massive interest with 24 horses nominated.