Gunnedah's Winter Carnival of Cups: great response to first of three meetings.

GUNNEDAH Jockey Club could have as many as 111 runners when it stages Thursday’s Somerton Cup meeting at its Riverside course.

SHOW TIME: The 2010 Gunnedah Gold Cup winner, Prior Baron. Gunnedah's Winter Carnival of Cups starts on Thursday.

SHOW TIME: The 2010 Gunnedah Gold Cup winner, Prior Baron. Gunnedah's Winter Carnival of Cups starts on Thursday.

RacingNSW has added two extra races to the seven-race program after the GJC received more than 160 nominations late last week for the first of three Winter Carnival of Cups meetings at Gunnedah.

GJC secretary/manager Mark Storey is preparing for an extra busy day.

“We had big nominations and they have split two races,” Storey said.

“It’s another vote of confidence for our track. Great for us, although Lindsay (track manager Lindsay Bowne) got a bit of a shock when I told him we had nine races.

“We’ll deal with it, though, and have a big day planned.”

The GJC will distribute almost $200,000 for the TAB meeting, highlighted by the XXXX Gold Keith Swan Memorial Benchmark 65 Handicap (1200m), the GJC Breaker Morant Lightning Prelude Benchmark 70 Handicap (1000m), the Sutton Family Arthur Gore Memorial Class 3 Handicap (1400m) and the Bective Station Somerton Cup (1600m).

The Somerton Cup has drawn a field of 11, with last-start winners Cervinia (Damien Lane) and About Time (Gavin Groth) lining up.

About Time, last-start winner of the Binnaway Cup, will jump from barrier 11 for his Gunnedah trainer and is one of three Cup runners trained on the track. Sally Torrens (Buck Rogers) and Graham Shields (Just As Dapper) will also be represented Thursday, with Shields accepting in both the Somerton Cup and Keith Swan Memorial with Just As Dapper.

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