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Winter Saturday Season Concludes this Saturday July 13 with the traditional ITM/GIB Whangarei Gold Cup Race Day.
Bill Colgan
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Winter Saturday Season Concludes this Saturday July 13 with the traditional ITM/GIB Whangarei Gold Cup Race Day.

The Mid-Winter Christmas lunch has been sold out for the meeting on Saturday. The Tee Cafe Bayside Cafe will be open.

ITM/GIB Whangarei Gold Cup this Saturday July 13.

The perpetual Whangarei Gold Cup race will be contested this Saturday. Last year the race was won by locally owned and trained Major Tom and the other winners on the day prove the quality, rather than quantity of runners that the meeting attracts. Winners on the day included Santa Monica, Vinevale, Von Trapp, Benaud, Veine D'Or and Aim Smart. 

It is also the meeting that the local stables tend not to dominate, for example only three of the winners came from local stables last year.

Last meeting's rating 82 over 2100 metres could be the guide to  the cup result as Poker Face held out He's Cavalier, who last season won both the Ruakaka and Northland Cups at the course. He's Cavalier is a tough customer who seems to race, with success over the staying distances, all year round. Poker Face has always appreciated the better track conditions of the Ruakaka course but was very impressive in winning over the 2100 metres last start and being trained at the course this year, could have the local staying races at his mercy, under the astute guidance of the Gibbs/Bradley team.

Clearly the best winner last year was Santa Monica who won the rating 85 sprint race and then went on to be the impressive winner of the Group 1 Sistema Railway at Ellerslie over the summer.

When nominations close at Tuesday lunchtime the Club expects strong nominations for the $22,500 race over 1600 metres for horses that had not won a race at the end of the day on 12 May 2019. There has been 27 winners of maiden races over 1400 or 1600 metres since that date, and they will all qualify for the race. The conditions of the race provides a bonus Saturday prize for these winners. 

For a horse like Mac Attacka or Cherry Lane it is of great interest as they have won two races since the deadline date of the 12th of May 2019.

For maiden horses that have yet to win it provides an incentive as the normal prize money for a maiden is only $10,000. The $22,500 prize should also attract the better quality maiden runners from the bigger stables.

An eight race programme is expected but with the heavy tracks becoming the norm the lower classes may attract stronger than expected nominations. Nominations close on Tuesday and the fields will be finalised by Wednesday lunchtime. Race and the Whangarei raceday bus times will be finalised and published on the website and Facebook early on Wednesday afternoon.


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