Trio sets sights Port Macquarie Cup

NOW the old firm is back in business, owner-trainer Jim Jarvis, jockey Jasen Watkins and equine mate Mr Gold Fire, are hunting down another piece of bling for the mantelpiece.

The trio have set their sights on winning the Port Macquarie Cup on October 10 and if they are successful, it will be the sixth Cups victory they've shared since the golden run began at Coffs Harbour racecourse in August 2006.

Should the trio claim the spoils in the Hastings, it will take the gelding's earnings past $250,000 - not bad, for a horse purchased as a yearling in Tasmania for $4000 on not much more than an afterthought.

“I love the old horse, we've got a bond, me and him,” Watkins said after the team captured the Centenary Lismore Cup last month.

“During races I talk to him all the time and he seems to know, he responds.”

The jockey is in the process of transferring from Coffs Harbour to Ballina to ride for the Bowen stable and increase his opportunities at Gold Coast and Brisbane meetings.

But he'll be available to link up with 'Goldie' anytime the call comes from Jarvis

At one stage, the jockey hoped to get a shot at a Group One victory on his other favourite horse, reigning Coffs Harbour Gold Cup champion, Belmonte.

However, trainer Bernie Howlett ended plans to start in The Metropolitan at Royal Randwick this weekend after the flashy chestnut suffered a recurrence of a leg injury.

“It's the same problem that hampered the horse's preparation for the Grafton Cup,” Watkins said.

“If Bernie didn't have to ease up in his work after we won the Murwillumbah Cup I reckon we would have won in Grafton, instead of finishing second.”

The rider said Belmonte is being freshened up and if he can be brought through his leg problems, a start in the $200,000 Canberra Gold Cup on November 30 remains a possibility.

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