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Munce sets sights here

CASINO-born Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Chris Munce could be back riding on the Northern Rivers in the coming months if the opportunity presents itself.

The winner of 40 Group One races is set to return to Queensland racing full-time next week and will be backed by the Gold Coast arm of the powerful Patinack Farm empire.

While Patinack has not been inclined to send runners to the Northern Rivers, Munce could not rule out a return to his old stomping ground.

“You never know,” Munce said.

“My family are down there so I wouldn’t be knocking back the chance but we will just have to wait and see.”

The 40-year-old will not be on a retainer with Patinack which leaves the door open for local trainers to tempt the champion hoop south of the border.

Munce has six rides at Eagle Farm tomorrow with his next assignment coming at Royal Randwick on Saturday where he will partner Madame Pedrille in the Group Two Breeders Classic.

From there, although his family will still be based in Sydney, Munce will make the south-east corner of Queensland his base.

And the two-time Golden Slipper winner doesn’t plan to fade into retirement on the glitter strip; quite the opposite, in fact.

“I can’t wait to get up there and get back to riding winners and winning premierships,” he said.

Munce last won the Brisbane jockeys premiership in 1993-94 before moving to Sydney to link with the Waterhouse stable.

Although looking forward to duelling with old foe Larry Cassidy again, Munce knows only hard work will win the confidence of trainers with a dearth of talent fighting for rides in the Sunshine State.

It’s a good thing he already has a foot in the door with Patinack after flashing home to win the Group Two Warwick Stakes on the freakish three-year-old, Trusting, in the spring.

And as the Patinack empire continues to grow you can be sure to see plenty of winners with C Munce in the blue green and gold – whether we get to see one this side of the border is anyone’s guess.