Comparing performances on Sydney and Melbourne tracks is one of the puzzles for punters assessing winning chances on Sunday in the $50,000 Bankstown Sports Club Forbes Cup.
Forbes Jockey Club was chosen to host one of the qualifiers for the $2 million Big Dance Final at Royal Randwick on Melbourne Cup day and the lure of the huge prizemoney will see high profile trainers from New South Wales and Victoria supplying runners in the 1600m Cup.
One of those trainers is London-born Archie Alexander who gained vast experience with leading stables in England, France and America before coming to Australia and spending time at the stables of Lloyd Williams, owner of several Melbourne Cup winners.
Since branching out as a trainer at Ballarat in 2014, Archie Alexander has trained 319 winners, the latest being Teewaters ridden by Craig Williams in the VOBIS Gold Stayers over 2400 metres at Caulfield on Saturday.
For the Forbes Cup, Alexander has nominated Maximus Prime, a last start photo finish second at Caulfield.
Another trainer from Victoria, the Wangaratta based Craig Weeding, has nominated Pride Of Helena, a winner at Murray Bridge (SA) before running second at Morphettville in Adelaide.
Mitchell Beer has raced at Forbes before and for Sunday's Cup has entered Zidler, third at Moonee Valley this campaign and also a last start third in the Narrandera Cup.
Leading trainers from Sydney with nominations include:
Reward Seeker prepared by Michael Mulholland at Dubbo is one of the better chances amongst the country trained gallopers nominated having last year won the Orange Cup and Wellington Cup and second to From The Bush in the Forbes Cup.
Wild Rocket from the Kylie Kennedy stable at Narromine won the Narromine Cup and was an outstanding fourth in the Final of The Country Championship at Randwick.
Not Negotiating trained at Wellington by Peter.W.Stanley won the Mudgee Cup, the Clint Lundholm, Dubbo trained Notabadidea won the Coonabarabran Cup while the Brett Robb, Dubbo trained nine-year-old A Magic Zariz has won 13 races and almost $300,000.
Canberra is well represented with Matthew Dale nominating last start Narrandera Cup winner Kiptanui while from the Barbara Joseph and Jones brothers stable is One Aye, second in the Mudgee Cup and recently placed twice at Rosehill and at Randwick.
Nick Olive's entry Ready To Humble ran second in the Narrandera Cup last week.
Moruya trainer Natalie Jarvis has a big following in Forbes and her nomination Tarn's Prince won at Sandown, Melbourne, in March.
There are 33 nominations for the Cup and overall a record 215 nominations for the Showcase meeting.
Feature sprint is the 1200m Amazing Forbes Ben Hall Bullet with a quality field to line up.
Final acceptances are due 9am Thursday.
Over 200 visitors from major sponsor Bankstown Sports Club will spend up to three days in Forbes and will be very much involved in the big Cup Calcutta at Club Forbes on Saturday night.
With marquee sites booked out and going on feedback received from around the Central West and beyond, Forbes looks like attracting a very big crowd on Sunday.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.