Cracking field assembles for transferred Cowra Cup

The Garry Lunn-trained Knife’s Edge (main) will do battle with the Peter Stanley-trained Not Negotiating (bottom left) and the Barbara Joseph, Paul and Matt Jones-trained Nieces and Nephews (top right) in Sunday’s Cowra Cup.
Photos: Racing Photography and Bradley Photos.

The time-honoured Cowra Cup will be run and won at Orange on Sunday and the feature race is everything a country racing fan could want in a country cup. 

While it is disappointing that the Cowra Jockey Club cannot host the program owing to the impact of recent flooding, Racing Orange put their hand up to run the race day, and a terrific field of genuine country cup gallopers will assemble in the $36,000 Cowra Lamb Cowra Cup over the 1600m journey. 

Country Cup king Michael Mulholland will have last-start Orange winner Sea of Flames (Jake Barrett, $4.80) representing the Dubbo stable.

Last-start Gilgandra Cup winner Cheptegei has been scratched from the Cowra Cup, with Mulholland instead setting the six-year-old for the Cowra Japan Cup, where Serg Lisnyy will guide the $3.20 favourite in the 1280m event.

Mulholland landed a quinella in the Cowra Cup in 2022, with Athena’s Lad winning from Lord of the Turf, and there is no doubting Sea of Flames will feature again in 2023.

Fellow Dubbo trainer Garry Lunn will set a two-pronged attack on the race, with last-start Coonabarabran Cup winner Knife’s Edge (Mikayla Weir, $3) and grand country campaigner Careering Away (Jess Taylor, $81) representing the stable. 

In-form south east campaigner Nieces and Nephews (Molly Bourke, $4) will contest the race for Barbara Joseph, Paul and Matt Jones.

The seven-year-old is in career-best form, winning three of his past five starts, which includes victories in Gundagai’s Hair of the Dog Cup in November along with victories in the Cooma Cup and Goulburn’s Fred Cooper Cup in December.

Last start, the Zariz gelding pushed Country Championships winner Another One all the way in the Ted Ryder Cup at Wagga, finishing a game second and he will be right in this race on his best form. 

Mathew Dale runners can never be ignored in these country features, and the Goulburn trainer is sending just the one runner to Orange, with Golden George (Jamie Powell, $3.60) taking on the Cowra Cup.

The top-weight after being allotted 60kg, the six-year-old will only carry 58kg after Powell’s two-kilogram claim, and the recent city winner is set to be a major player. 

Peter Stanley has his sights set on both features at Orange, with Not Negotiating (Ashleigh Stanley, $15) contesting the Cowra Cup, while The Long Run (Will Stanley, $19) will be one of the major players in the Cowra Japan Cup.

Fresh off preparing four winners on Moruya Cup Day, Natalie Jarvis will send regular country cup campaigner Napoleon Solo (Kayla Nisbet) to Orange.

The seven-year-old is yet to pick up a cup win for connections but he has been getting closer and closer. 

Canberra trainer Rob Potter will venture west too, and he too is also looking at a feature-race double, with consistent South East performer Milamoo (Louise Day, $26) running in the Cowra Cup, while up-and-coming mare Almost Persuaded (Rochelle Wedrat-Kroezen, $5.50) will likely start as favourite, or at least one of the fancies in the Cowra Japan Cup. 

The Garry McCarney-trained Poolenzo (Angela Cooper, $126) rounds out a good field of 9 runners, with the former Queenslander showing his best form at Toowoomba five years ago, and he would need to rediscover that same form to be competitive in this event.

The Cowra Cup and Cowra Japan Cup headline a big eight-race-program at Orange, with the club also putting on their Cosmetic Collective fashions on the field, a DJ for entertainment, along with full bar and catering, and local bookmakers and the TAB. 

For more on the race day click here and for fields click here.