JIM Jarvis hopes weight will prove a telling factor when Champagne Rock lines up at Lismore tomorrow.
Champagne Rock, a four- time winner from 14 starts and initially trained in Victoria, saddles up in the Lickiss Fabrications Handicap (1400m).
The lightly raced five-year-old gelding will carry the minimum - 54kg - and has a 5.5kg weight advantage over topweight and logical danger, Private Express (59.5kg).
"We've got a postage stamp on our back compared to Private Express, which is a pretty smart horse," the Coffs Harbour-based Jarvis said.
"With 54 kilos and a senior rider in Terry Treichel on board it might just make the difference between winning and losing."
Champagne Rock is in his second preparation with Jarvis since coming from Victoria where he was trained by Grant Craven.
After winning his maiden impressively at Echuca on August 22, 2011, the gelding disappointed at Moonee Valley next start. He pulled up with ligament problems and was eventually transferred to Jarvis, who gave the son of Rock of Gibraltar plenty of time (69 weeks) to fully recover.
"He's been good in the legs ever since I got him," Jarvis said. "No sign of any problems.''
Champagne Rock has won three races under Jarvis and the trainer was taken by his last-start half-length second to Sir Will Do in a 1303m open handicap at Coffs Harbour on December 6.
"That was his first go at open company and the run was very good," Jarvis added. "He flew home and was starting to get over the top of the other horse but the post came too quickly.
"The other horse (Sir Will Do) has since confirmed the merit of the form and I've been happy with his work since then.
"His last couple of gallops on the grass have been good.
"He's in there tomorrow with a good chance."
Jarvis said Champagne Rock would be ridden a little closer to the pace than is his normal racing pattern.
"You don't want to get too far back at Lismore. Private Express will probably lead and we'll try and get over the top of him when it matters," he said.
Nine races are on the card and action starts at 1.18pm.
Acceptances for Ballina's Boxing Day races and next Monday's Murwillumbah meeting were due out today.