Murrumbidgee Turf Club is confident it will hold it’s strongest edition of the Riverina Cup on Sunday.
MTC has received a record 17 nominations for Sunday’s $25,000 Ron Crouch Transport 2018 Riverina Cup (3800m).
Not only has there been an increase in nominations, it’s also attracted more quality, highlighted by entries from the stables of Anthony Freedman and Patrick Payne.
Torquay trainer Bryce Stanaway has five of the 17 nominations.
MTC chief executive Scott Sanbrook was pleased to see such strong support for the longest race in NSW.
“The nominations for the Cup are terrific,” Sanbrook said.
“It’s by far the best lot of nominations we’ve had for the race in it’s history.”
Sanbrook believes the Riverina Cup’s new association with the Jericho Cup has attributed to the rise in interest.
The $300,000 Jericho Cup (4800m) will be run at Warrnambool on December 2 and is only open to horses bred in Australia and New Zealand.
The Riverina Cup is one of six qualifying races across Australia.
“Being linked to the Jericho Cup, I’m sure it’s played a role in increasing the profile of the race,” Sanbrook said.
“It’s put us on the map, as well as boost the profile of the Jericho Cup.
“It’s terrific to see the race on the radar of the top trainers. We’ve had a couple of small fields and it’s taken a while for the race to gain exposure but now it’s starting to get where we’ve always aimed for.”
MTC received 178 nominations for Sunday’s seven-race card, which includes the latest heat of the SDRA Winter Series.
The heat, an open handicap over 1400m, attracted 26 nominations alone.