CLASSY sprinter Lifeboat will be chasing a place in history when contesting the Daniel Baker Sprint at Coffs Harbour today.
The gelding, to be ridden by Takeover Target's jockey Jay Ford, is shooting for a third victory in the race following back-to-back wins in 2008-09.
Lifeboat finished second in the event last year behind Ollie Vollie and wily Somerton trainer Bill ‘Bot' Thompson, who plied his trade on the Coffs Harbour course for many years, is again following a time-honoured formula.
Thompson likes to give the horse a familiarisation run at the track and did this in the Daniel Baker Prelude on July 24 when the gelding gave a 4.5kg weight advantage to outsider Rollem and went down by one length.
A similar thing happened in 2009 and the horse blitzed a quality field to take the short-course feature 10 days later.
Taree trainer Ross Stitt has Cup favourite Southern Shimmer but could make it a unique double if top-weight Youthful Jack is successful in the sprint.
Once earmarked for great things, the horse's form in Group and Listed company tapered off due to injury and he was beaten a long way in this race last year but resumed with a promising second in the Sir James Hardy Sprint during the Grafton carnival and that form makes him a genuine chance this afternoon.
Most local hopes rest with Trevor Hardy's talented gelding Symposium.
To be ridden by Brisbane jockey Jason Taylor, the horse will have his first start since finishing last behind One Lickety Split in the Guyra Cup on March 6.
“We looked around for a suitable comeback race and picked this one out,” Hardy said.
“While he hasn't trialled, the horse has done really well since a break and I've poured plenty of work in.
“The wide gate barrier 17 is a bit of a worry but the horse will be doing its best to win.”