Based on the whopping set of nominations Racing Orange received this weekend's $32,000, 1300-metre Banjo Paterson Cup, the feature of Saturday's seven-race program, is set to be a who's who of both the Western and Central District Racing Associations.
The likes of Mudgee's Cam Crockett and Gayna Williams, Dubbo's Justin Stanley, Bathurst's Dean Mirfin and Peter Stanley and Gulgong's Brett Thompson have all nominated for the cup, along with Towac Park-based trainer Michael Plummer.
Even so, outside a number of sure-fire Central Districts Country Championships contenders, the runner that leaps from the 26-strong nominated field comes from further afar, more than 500 kilometres from the Orange track in fact.
Trained by Dan McCarthy all the way down in Wangaratta, seven-year-old Fast Cash, a gelding which won the Gold Carat back in 2015, worth $150,000 back then, and has previously been ridden regularly by Melbourne Cup-winning hoop Damien Oliver, is among the potential field.
From 38 career starts Fast Cash has raked in more than $300,000 in prizemoney and has no other nominations elsewhere, although the fact he's been handed 63kg in weight may be a deterrent for McCarthy.
The 85-rater is far and away the top weight for the cup with a full 5kg separating him and the remainder of the field, with Thompson's Sugar Dance next in line at 58kg.
Crockett's star Ori On Fire is among the potential field too, he's one of two last-start winners nominated.
Should Crockett accept his star sprinter must be considered among the cup's front-runners after his TAB Highway Handicap (1100 metres) victory, which came back in December. He's had a promising trial since, running second Warwick Farm late last month.
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Canberra trainer Nick Olive, who went to university here in Orange, has second-up star Supreme Polarity in the mix as well. Such is his record with two wins from three starts second-up, the five-year-old's expected to build on his seventh finish a fortnight ago, which came following a 21-week spell.
The Saturday meeting, a rare one for Racing Orange, received a massive 141 nominations across the program.
Acceptances are due by 9am Thursday morning.
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