Raymond Spokes and Briefing are teaming up in tomorrow’s Bowraville Cup.
Raymond Spokes and Briefing are teaming up in tomorrow’s Bowraville Cup. LEIGH JENSEN

Chasing home town Cup glory

BORN and raised in Bowraville, jockey Raymond Spokes would love nothing better than to win tomorrow’s $20,000 Bowraville Cup aboard Briefing.

Last year he went ever so close when narrowly beaten on the Brett Bellamy-trained Fiori, owned in the same interests as Briefing who is a full-brother to Melbourne weight-for-age star Maldivian.

Spokes is a clear leader in this season’s Northern Rivers jockeys’ premiership.

Coffs Harbour-based Bellamy is also looking for revenge, with Fiori going on with Spokes aboard to be narrowly beaten in Bellamy’s home town Cup last year.

Briefing heads to the undulating Bowraville track for the first time tomorrow over an unsuitable distance of 1370m, although Bellamy believes the inside barrier and Spokes’ navigation are major bonuses.

“The horse has just got better and better since he’s been with us,” Bellamy said.

“And importantly he’s a happy horse, relishing his racing and work.

“I think he’ll handle Bowraville.

“There’s no loafing early, it’s a charge to the first corner then it’s every man for himself thereafter.

“Raymond knows every blade of the grass being born and bred there.

“The Bowraville Cup is one of two races he’d dearly love to win. The other is the Coffs Harbour Cup.

“We just got pipped with Fiori last year. We’re not greedy, just hoping to go one better this time.

“There’s nothing like winning your home town Cup and after Bowraville the plan is to start over 1600 metres at Grafton on Grafton Cup day then the Sawtell Cup and Coffs Harbour Cup.”

Briefing, an eight-year-old by Zabeel, scored back-to-back wins at Coffs Harbour (1509m) and Grafton (1710m) in May and was an impressive 3-1/4-length last-start winner over 1510m at Murwillumbah on June 27.

“He’s been an underrated horse,” Bellamy said.

“All his wins have been good, good tough wins.

“He goes to the front, they’ve taken him on but he’s toughed it out and held them all off.

“He’s going into Sunday ten foot tall and bulletproof. I’m not going to tell him otherwise.

“Raymond is of the opinion he’s getting better every start.”

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