COFFS Harbour's Glen Colless, poised to be crowned Brisbane's champion jockey, will attempt to end a 16-year drought in his home town feature race next week.
First priority for Colless is to defend his two-win lead over rival Jim Byrne in the race for the Brisbane riding title with just two meetings, at Eagle Farm today and Doomben on Saturday, to complete the season.
Colless leads Byrne by 59 wins to 57 after both rode doubles at Eagle Farm last Saturday.
If Colless can win the premiership he can be assured of a warm home town welcome next week when he rides at the three-day Coffs Harbour Cup carnival.
The carnival begins on Sunday and continues on Tuesday before the feature day on Thursday week when the highlight is the $70,000 Carlton Draught Coffs Harbour Gold Cup over 2300m.
While Colless is now recognised as a leading Brisbane and Gold Coast rider he still calls Coffs Harbour home and frequently returns to ride at local meetings when free of his Queensland commitments.
He is looking forward to this year's carnival as he believes he has a great chance to win the his first Coffs Harbour Cup since his 1991 victory on Sabre Luck.
His Cup mount will be the former Sydney stayer On The Up, who gave Colless one of his two Eagle Farm wins last Saturday when he carried 58kg to a determined restricted class win over 2200m.
He fought back for a narrow win over Sir Sensible, another possible Coffs Harbour Cup entry, at only his third start for Brisbane trainer Robert Heathcote following a transfer from the John Hawkes stable in Sydney.
On The Up is owned by Tony Santic of Makybe Diva fame and races in the same famous colours as his triple Melbourne Cup winner.
Last Saturday's win was his first beyond 2000m but he has had ample experience in the Coffs Harbour Cup distance range with seven placings from 10 starts between 2200m and 2600m including 2400m placings in the City Tattersall's Club Cup at Randwick and Lord Mayor's Cup at Rosehill.
Last year's Coffs Harbour Cup winner Mr Gold Fire, trained by popular Victorian Jim Jarvis, is set to return to defend his crown after finishing behind On The Up at Eagle Farm last Saturday.
Last year's winning jockey and another Coffs Harbour product in Jason Watkins was reunited with the stayer, who led and fought on gamely to just a miss the minor placing.
Jarvis has again headed to the Coffs Coast for his annual winter campaign with a strong team of horses led by Mr Gold Fire set to run at the Coffs Harbour carnival.