Jarvis's Cup runneth over
IT is going to take all his knowledge and experience to pull it off but trainer Jim Jarvis could eventually saddle up three of the leading candidates when the Coffs Harbour VB Gold Cup is run on August 5.
Tough miler Jagoe Road, up-and-coming stayer Power Quest and 2006 champion Mr Gold Fire are at various stages of preparation and Jarvis acknowledges he has 43 days remaining to hit the right buttons that will send all three to the post.
“A lot can happen in racing in just a few days but at this stage, Jagoe Road looks the best chance of making it,” he said. “I know I’ve been saying for a long time that Power Quest would be our main contender but he’s had a setback and won’t have another run until the Grafton carnival next month, so it’s a matter of waiting until things are right to go.
“All along I’ve had a feeling there’s something big for him one day down the track but it seems we might have to wait until 2011.”
Charismatic crowd favourite Mr Gold Fire is in his last season of racing and a Cup start will depend on the condition of the track on the day.
“He’ll get another chance to win the Gold Cup over the mile if it pours with rain but if we get fine weather, you’ll probably see him start over the middle distance in the Ken Howard Cup,” Jarvis revealed. Lots of things can happen between now and then but yes ... it would be something else if eventually three of our horses ended up in the big one.”
Next Sunday, Mr Gold Fire will attempt to add the Murwillumbah Cup (2000m) to an already bulging trophy cabinet after running second in the Cup Prelude at his most recent outing on June 6.
“We’ll then bring the old boy down to Grafton for a nice 2100m race during the carnival and I’ll decide whether to freshen him up for Coffs or head somewhere else,” the trainer said.
“Winning another Taree Cup is within his capability but I’m inclined to give Port Macquarie a miss this time as the changed conditions of the race probably aren’t his cup of tea. Along the way I’ll let the horse tell me what he wants and it’s possible the Lismore Cup will be his swan song.”
Much more than a racing animal, ‘Goldie’ is a much-loved family pet with a kind nature who will live out his twilight years in a paddock alongside the Orara River.
“Our horses mean everything to us and this bloke has already got his name on a plaque on the gate,” Jarvis said.
“One of his racing mates will be a companion and his job will be to educate the two-year-olds by getting them used to handling.
“It’s becoming a bit of a paradise for horses out here at Coramba, sort of like horse heaven.
“And when Mr Gold Fire finally gives the racetrack away I’ve got a feeling he might invite the Coffs Coast Advocate out to do an interview with him like you did with Takeover Target.”
Rather than shuffle off into retirement, the racing business is booming for Jarvis and wife Kris.
Apprentice jockey Melinda Kinny has rejoined the stable after giving birth and a second apprentice from a prominent local racing family is about to sign her indenture papers.
“We’ve got horses going to Brisbane and the Gold Coast all the time as well as up and down the coast ...it just gets busier all the time and we’re having too much fun to relax,” Jarvis laughed.