Golden galloper fires at Taree for another Country Cup victory
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
THE team of trainer Jim Jarvis, jockey Jasen Watkins and five year-old gelding Mr Gold Fire have combined again to grab another country cup.
Two and a half weeks after winning the Coffs Harbour Gold Cup, Mr Gold Fire was again the toast of the town when he romped home in Sunday's Taree Cup.
Mr Gold Fire is fast becoming a country cup's specialist and courtesy of the wins at Coffs Harbour and Taree, he's now automatically qualified for starts in the upcoming Newcastle and Wyong Cups.
Settling midfield on Sunday, Watkins pushed the gelding forward from the 700m mark to be battling for the lead as the field entered the straight.
From that point on it was all over as Mr Gold Fire put on the afterburners to streak away to a three and three-quarter length victory over Bullet Express with Windon a further one and three-quarter lengths behind in third.
"He just took off down the straight and when he goes, he goes," Watkins said of the stirring finish.
Jarvis agreed wholeheartedly with the jockey's assessment.
"He came four or five deep round the turn to avoid the softer ground that was at the end of the straight near the fence," he said.
"He just gave them windburn as he went passed them.
"He's a great push button horse, he'll slide up to them and once you push the button he just goes."
Leading local hoop Jasen Watkins must be thinking he should Mr Gold Fire every day.
From the six starts he's had on board the cup winner, Watkins has had five wins and was a near certainty beaten in the other at Grafton.
When Jarvis mentioned that Victoria's country cups circuit through spring was an option, Watkins was the first to put his hand up for a stint down south.
"He said he'd be prepared to go," the Cranbourne- based trainer added.
"In fact he said that he'd even walk down and that he'd start walking next week.
"He does ride the horse very well though and his strike rate is very impressive."