THURSDAY’S Carlton MID Coffs Harbour Gold Cup will have the largest contingent of locally trained runners for many years.
Coffs Harbour trainer Gordon Yorke has three starters in the Gold Cup, with Rare Diamond, Cap Vilano and Civita, which is in the race for the second straight year.
There will be four other local trainers with hopes of being the first home-trained winner since Sabre Luck saluted 20 years ago.
Trevor Hardy’s Save A Buck will be vying for Cup honours against Joanne Hardy’s last-start winner Rockford Bay.
Joe Janiak will team up with jockey Jay Ford again this time, hoping Bowraville Cup winner Bondit can add a Coffs Harbour Cup to his list of wins.
Jim Jarvis won the Gold Cup five years ago with Mr Gold Fire, but that was when he was based at the Cranbourne track in Victoria.
Jarvis is hoping to produce a local winner on Thursday with Power Quest.
The number of Coffs Harbour horses could grow if there are any scratchings among the 16 starters.
The two emergencies also make their home in the stables next to the Coffs Harbour track.
Having just claimed the NSW Country trainer’s premiership, Brett Bellamy will be hoping Rage And Rave, as first emergency for the big race, can gain a start.
Peter Goodenough’s gelding, Geronimo Jack, has been named as the second emergency.
Newcastle jockey Andrew Gibbons will be aiming for another big North Coast feature win on Thursday when he teams with the Kim Moore-trained Delago Star in the $70,000 Carlton MID Coffs Harbour Cup.
The hard-working jockey was rewarded with his biggest career win at Grafton last month when he won the $130,000 Ramornie Handicap on Jerezana for the Peter Snowden stable. Gibbons will get his first ride on Delago Star, the winner of nine races, including the Port Macquarie Cup and Wyong Magic Mile.
The eight-year-old, third over 1800m at Randwick last month before his last-start eighth over 2000m at Rosehill, is among the capacity field of 16 starters (with two emergencies), which includes numerous nominations from Sydney and Queensland stables.