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AN ITALIAN Derby winner could be a surprise runner at Tamworth Jockey Club’s Country Music Cup meeting next Thursday. Goldstream, a seven-year-old bay gelding son of Martino Alonso, is one of the 12 nominations for the 1200m Country Music Cup Open Showcase Handicap on the eight-race TAB program. The former Italian star, who won his first five starts culminating in a victory in the $1million Italian Derby, has amassed more than $700,000 in prizemoney. He will be having his first start for Tamworth trainer Cody Morgan if he runs in Thursday’s feature. He will also be returning from a 36-week spell which followed a nine-length seventh to Cougar Express in the 2150m Oakbank Cup. Goldstream won his first five races in Europe including the $1million Italian Derby success and has won twice in Australia, at Flemington and Morphettville. Morgan could also have two runners in the Country Music Cup. He has also nominated Mr Pumblechook for the 1200m sprint. Like Goldstream he is also returning from a spell. Mr Pumblechook is a five-year-old gelding son of More Than Ready and won the Armidale Winter Dash when last in work. He comes off a 24 week spell and if he starts he will be chasing a third win in six tries on his home track. Tamworth trainer Sue Grills could also have a Country Music Cup runner after nominating six-year-old gelding Under The Thumb. The son of Falvelon has won four of his 27 starts including one on his home track. His stablemate, Montana Pines, is also nominated in a later race but is also entered for a Highway Handicap in Sydney on Saturday for Grills. It could be a busy day for Grills as she also has runners at the Deepwater Cup meeting. The Country Music Cup Open is one of three races also to have nominations extended until 11am Monday. While the club received strong nominations for the eight-race meeting (137) it has extended nominations on the Country Music Cup (12 nominations), the Benchmark 66 Handicap (9 nominations) and the Fillies and Mares Benchmark 58 Handicap (12 nominations). Thursday’s meeting also includes a $40,000 Country Only Showcase Maiden Plate (1200m). It attracted 26 nominations while the $30,000 Class 1 Showcase Handicap (1200m) received 27 nominations.

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