By GREG WHITE
EVEN with seven months of the season remaining, Brett Bellamy can take giant strides toward a second Northern Rivers Racing Association trainers title with his stranglehold on today's Coffs Harbour non-TAB meeting.
The 2004-05 premiership-winner became the first local to win the crown and almost made it back-to-back wins before going down by one win to Ballina trainer Stephen Lee last year.
Bellamy has runners engaged in four of the five races today and is likely to be near the head of the betting market with every starter.
His best chance appears to be talented four-year-old Antron, who resumes from a three-month break in the first event of the afternoon.
The gelding took time to find form after arriving from Victoria but won four races in his first local preparation.
Heavyweight apprentice Daniel Baker will claim 1.5kg to bring him closer to stablemate and main rival Judanzo.
Ironically, both horses are part-owned by club committeeman Mick O'Neill.
Meanwhile, jockey Jasen Watkins is waiting for a phone call from Victoria to find if he'll again be linking up with Coffs Harbour Gold Cup winner Mr Gold Fire for a campaign in the southern state.
"I spoke to Jim (trainer Jim Jarvis) the other day and he said the horse is looking real good," Watkins said.
"Actually, now that you've reminded me I'd better give him another call for an update."
The trainer, horse and jockey became the sensation of late-winter when they strung together four wins, three of them in feature cup races.
"A working holiday in Melbourne would be an experience," the jockey said.
"I went to Tabulam once to ride for Jim, so I guess it means I'd go anywhere."
Watkins has a full book at today's meeting, including three top fancies from the Bellamy stable.