2011 Murwillumbah Cup winner Warrior Within is trained by Bruce Hill, who prepares Rabasco for Sunday's Cup Prelude.
2011 Murwillumbah Cup winner Warrior Within is trained by Bruce Hill, who prepares Rabasco for Sunday's Cup Prelude. Dan Costello

Top field assembles for Cup Prelude

IT WILL be nothing short of a cracker Murwillumbah Cup Prelude field when the judge lets them go on Sunday for the opening leg of the local cup carnival.

In the best Cup Prelude field in years, one of last year’s Murwillumbah Cup favourites, Rapidus, makes his first trip back to Murwillumbah since going down to Bernie Of Babylon in the big race.

In the lead-up to last year’s Murwillumbah Cup, Rapidus had been much touted in the media and betting ring after scoring four in a row, including the Cup Preview at Ballina at his prior run.

More recently, the seven-year-old stayer was second in a Benchmark 62 at Grafton, suggesting he is peaking at the right time and getting ready for another tilt at the Murwillumbah Cup.

Three kilo claiming apprentice Gina Mitchell brings his allotted weight down to 51kg, which means he’ll be carrying next to nothing on his back, which could prove important.

The 1800m Cup Prelude will also see a few locally trained chances try and earn free passage to the Cup.

Matt Dunn prepares Hollywood Barbie who won two on the trot in easy fashion before being taken down the Pacific Highway for a go around Royal Randwick.

Though finishing in the second half of the field, she seemed to enjoy the 2000m journey and her home track record is an impressive win and two placings from three starts.

El Toby is the other local runner, prepared by husband and wife team Paul and Kim Robbins.

After sorting out a niggling health issue which popped-up last year, the five-year-old El Hermano (NZ) gelding has been on fire and has either won or run a place at six of his last seven starts.

He ran a close-up third when Flitero ran a manually timed track record over the 2020m cup distance in April.

Sunday’s meeting will be a specially themed Family Day, with lots of kids’ and family entertainment on offer including face painting, jumping castle, animal farm, free show bags, and live music on the lawns.

The track is currently rated a Good 4, with the first of seven races getting under way at 12.30pm, with gates opening at 11am.

The next leg of the cup carnival, due at Ballina on June 13, will feature the running of the Murwillumbah Cup Preview, which will give the winner automatic entry into the $33,250 P. Smith and Son Real Estate Murwillumbah Cup 13 days later.



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