Brad Herne has a burning desire to win the $50,000 XXXX Gold Lismore Cup today.
The Eagle Farm trainer will saddle up highly consistent Outstrip (Ben Looker) in the 2100m event.
It would be a home town cup win of sorts for Herne who was born in Murwillumbah but schooled in Lismore and spent most of his youth in the Northern Rivers region.
Herne has 16 horses in work and did his training apprenticeship with Max Lees in Newcastle, Tim Martin in Scone and Sydney before shifting to Brisbane where he was foremen for Liam BIrchley for a number of years before switching out in his own right.
Herne went close to winning last year's cup, Outstrip finishing third to Plutorius and Bernie Of Babylon.
"I'm a Northern Rivers boy and the Lismore Cup would be a lovely race to win,” Herne said. "My horse is fit and well.
"This will be his 13th run this preparation but he's doing as well as ever. He doesn't win a lot but he's very consistent and honest. He's been a good money spinner for us.”
Despite only three wins in 50 starts, Outstrip has accrued $146,535 prizemoney mainly from his 20 placing's.
Herne admits this year's Lismore Cup is a stronger event that last year's running but he believes Outstrip enters the cup in good form.
He has registered placing's at his previous five runs including a last start win over 1900m at Ballina on September 8.
"With the added prizemoney it's a stronger race this year but he's coming into it a horse in good form,” Herne suggested.
"He's a great horse to do anything with. He sort of looks after himself.
"That's why you can keep him in work for a long time. Once he's fit he doesn't take a lot of galloping to hold him there.
"And he's sound as a bell. Never had a day of lameness in his life. His work this week has been good. He's done really well.”
Herne got Outstrip as a yearling from Toowoomba. He is raced by a syndicate headed by his wide Lauren.