THREE-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Glen Boss will headline Tuesday’s opening day of the Tabcorp May Racing Carnival.
Boss has four confirmed rides, with fellow Melbourne Cup winner Damien Oliver also a starter.
While this will be Boss’ second carnival, Oliver, who has two confirmed rides, is a more regular visitor to Warrnambool.
Top-line hoop Craig Newitt, a former Warrnambool Cup winner, is also engaged to ride on Tuesday.
Fields for Tuesday were finalised yesterday, with Warrnambool Racing Club electing to split the maiden hurdle, running two races with a full field of 12. There will be 10 races on the opening day.
The feature $100,000 3YB Scotty Stewart Brierly Steeplechase (3450m) has attracted a full field of 12 plus two emergencies. Last year’s third placegetter, the Quinton Scott-trained Royal Laddie, is the only horse returning for another shot at the Brierly, with a number of emerging steeplechasers looking to jump-start their careers.
Club chief executive officer John Green said he was delighted with the quality and quantity of horses kicking off the three-day event.
“It’s capacity fields except for one race,” Green said.
The feature flat race, the $40,000 open handicap, is the exception with 14 acceptances, “which is more than in previous years”.
“The Tuesday for the last few years has had 10 races but the quality of the fields is probably up,” Green said.
A $50,000 bonus for any horse that wins the open handicap and Thursday’s Warrnambool Cup appears to have attracted quality runners in Tuesday’s flat feature.
Green said four of Tuesday’s runners, Warrnambool galloper Constant Force, the Darren Weir-trained Magnifique Soleil, Patrick Ryan-trained Abitofado and Dennis Beriman’s Clanga’s Glory, had accepted for the open handicap and were also nominated for the cup.