The Cup runneth over ...
By STEVE SPINKS
THE Byron Bay Cup is one of the oldest Cup races on the Northern Rivers. Now it is also one of the biggest.
The Ballina Jockey Club received a club record 183 nominations for its seven-race program on Sunday.
Forty-one of those were for one of the 14 places in the $25,000 Sky Channel Byron Bay Gold Cup (1250m).
BJC secretary-manager Steve Taylor said the club had to take the unprecedented step of splitting a race to fit in the nominations.
"Obviously we couldn't split the Cup race," Taylor said. "So we split the Class 1 Handicap (1000m)."
A number of multiple group winners nominated, most notably Enthusiast and Mitanni from the John Wallace stable, but neither will run in the Cup on Sunday.
Increased prizemoney and a number of washed-out meetings had added to the fields, Taylor said.
A $10,000 Brisbane Bloodstock bonus for the Byron Bay Newsagency Maiden Handicap (1250m) for two-year-olds is also on offer.
If the response from trainers has been good, then the response from the Byron punters has been massive, with several buses booked.