Strong field likely

NOMINATIONS for the $50,000 XXXX Gold Lismore Cup (2100m) next Thursday will close at 11am today and Lismore Turf Club secretary-manager Michael Timbrell expects a red-hot field.

The Queenslanders are set to again play a strong hand with early nominations including Les Kelly’s Chilled, Alan Bailey’s Frozone and Bevan Laming’s Sea Skye, all from the Sunshine State.

The 2009 Lismore Cup fifth placegetter Onalar is also set to make the trek down from Mackay.

Grafton trainer John Shelton has Anglesea and Handsome Dane pencilled in – the latter raced by a syndicate of Lismore owners and fresh from running a class record over 2000m at Murwillumbah.

Also tempting owners will be the Big Maiden, which has been returned to the Lismore Cup program for 2010.

A $20,000 race for unproven gallopers, the Big Maiden is sure to attract some top young horses.

Also returning to the program is the $20,000 Rousillon Handicap for the sprinters over 1400m.

The Big Maiden and Rousillon had been run on the Sunday leading up to the Lismore Cup in recent years, but the switch back to the cup program ensures a quality card.

Secretary-manager Timbrell is looking forward to the biggest day on the club calendar.

“We really hope owners and trainers support our new look one-day carnival,” he said.

“For trainers with a Cup or Big Maiden runner it means they only have to travel to Lismore once and hopefully they will have runners for the support races.”

It’s 102 years since the first Lismore Cup, and the Lismore Turf Club is offering the most impressive trophy yet – a $10,500 18 carat gold-plated trophy donated by Wallace Bishop Jewellers.

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