LAST year’s Akubra Quirindi Cup winning gelding – Evangelist – could return to the track to defend his 2018 title on Friday.
The Armidale gelding, trained by Lea Selby, won last year’s Cup in a photo finish after missing the start.
The nine-year-old gelding, a son of Oasis Dream, has not won since his narrow Cup win last year.
He has won eight of his 67 starts for $311,380 in prizemoney though and he was one of 19 nominations for Friday’s $50,000 Akubra Quirindi Cup (1600m) on a day where the Quirindi Jockey Club received 131 nominations for its eight-race TAB Cup meeting.
Last year the QJC dispensed a record $285,000 in prizemoney and reproduces that effort again with three main support races and four $30,000 Showcase races.
The $40,000 Quirindi RSL Club Lightning (1100m) and the $40,000 John Deere PVM Country Maiden (1200m) are also backed up by the $35,000 River Ridge 2YO (1000m).
One of the $30,000 Showcase races has been named for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, the charity the QJC are supporting.
That support includes a Thursday night Cup Calcutta at the Quirindi RSL Club where portion of the Calcutta goes to the “Chopper”.
Leading country jockey Grant Buckley will be the special guest at that function starting around 6pm.
QUIRINDI CUP NOMINATIONS (benchmark ratings listed where available): Admiral Jello (Kris Lees), Alliterate (Pat Farrell), Ayham (Michelle Fleming), Bezel (David Smith), Bianbitten (Troy O’Neile), Cascata Rossa (Adam Duggan), Der Meister (Paul Perry) 58, Evangelist (Lea Selby) 62, Glitra (John Sprague), Goldstream (Cody Morgan) 90, Hammond Lane (Jeff Englebrecht), Melted Moments (Paul Grills), Most Exalted (Mack Griffith), Plaisir (David Atkins), San Fransisco (Paul Perry), Sea Lady (Brett Thompson) 70, St Luke (Michelle Fleming) 51, Valatia (Scott Thompson), Vega De Lago (Geoff O’Brien) 69.