AN influx of nominations for Gunnedah’s Christmas hams race meeting has left Gunnedah Jockey Club secretary manager Mark Storey “flabbergasted”.
The club received more than 180 nominations for Saturday’s annual meeting, up more than 50 from last year.
Storey said he was pleased with the result after initially being concerned the club may struggle for nominations due to competing race meetings.
“I thought we might have struggled with race meetings at Mudgee and Scone and I would have been happy with 130,” Storey said.
“But to get 186 is amazing, almost like a cup meeting.
“We had 200 and something for the cup earlier this year but to get 186 for this meeting is wonderful.”
With such large nominations it could mean one of the races is split to make the day an eight race meeting.
Storey said there was plenty of reasons trainers would choose to race in Gunnedah.
“But the hams do have a reputation and that means trainers are more than happy to come here and race for one,” he said.
“It might also be the track.
“It’s in such good condition, looks nice and races even better.”
Saturday’s main race is a $22,000 benchmark 66 handicap over 1600m and has drawn trainers from far and wide.
Trainers such as, Gosford’s Tony Newing (Balmaceda), Mudgee’s Mack Griffith (Free Ticket) and Gayna Williams (Western Parade) will make the journey to Gunnedah.
Wauchope’s Colt Prosser (Raining On Sunday), Gulgong’s Brett Thompson (Sea Lady) may have representatives in the cup along with Newcastle’s Kris Lees, who is leading the HNWRA Trainer’s Premiership.
Lees has I Am Awesome in the Christmas hams race along with Armidale trainers Frank Tanner (Cuthbert Gold), Lea Selby (Kilmarnock) and William Wain (Red Ticker).