Border blow to Lismore Gold Cup

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Group 2 Lismore Gold Cup (520m)

Best 32 nominated.

Heats October 20. Final October 27

Winner to receive $40,000

By DAVID BRASCH

LISMORE club secretary John Zorzo is a realist … he has to be.

\”I think we could be flat out getting four heats of the Cup this year,\” said John.

He was, of course, talking about the Group 2 Lismore Gold Cup to be run late in October and worth $40,000 to the winner.

\”The Queensland state election will not even be held by the time the heats of our cup are run, so we can hardly expect the border closure between Queensland and New South Wales to have been resolved,\” he said.

Which must have an impact upon the Lismore Gold Cup, as John fears.

While 2019\’s cup was won by local Fernando Blaster, and 2018 by NSW galloper Raven Izmir, the previous cup winners were Queenslanders Jury and Tripum.

Before that it was local Kingsbrae Nelly, but Queenslanders Yogi Blue, Regal Lauryn and Ima Geisha Girl had won in the previous three years.

\”Queensland trainers have always backed our cup,\” said John. \”Guys like Tony Brett, Tom Tzouvelis, Darren Russell always bring their best sprinters for it.

\”Without them, it will still be a good race because the Northern Rivers has some outstanding sprinters at the moment.\”

Fred Swain\’s star sprint bitch All Hands Off is the likely standout.

\”Sid Swain came up with some good dogs for the race last year,\” said John.

\”We are hoping we could also attract some of the \’leftovers\’ from the Million Dollar Chase series.

\”Of course, we would love to have the heats full with Queenslanders, but unless they send those dogs to someone on the Rivers to be trained, it is unlikely it will happen.

\”At the moment everything is in the lap of the Gods.\”

Zorzo said Covid-19 restrictions would mean the function area at Lismore would be restricted to owners and trainers of Cup finalists and the rest of the cup night crowd would have to utilise ground floor amenities.

\”Still, the race is worth $40,000 to the winner and that is really an attraction for the better quality race dogs,\” he said.

\”If someone really wants to be chasing that sort of prizemoney, they will go out of their way to plan the bid.\”

Caption: Local Fernando Blaster was victorious in the 2019 Group 2 Lismore Cup (Photo: Lisa Vanderstok)

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