Aiming for win in Lismore Cup
IF Mr Gold Fire manages to win his second Lismore Cup in a row tomorrow there won't be any repeat performance of the jockey-kissing antics of his trainer, Jim Jarvis.
The wily Coffs Harbour trainer planted a well-deserved peck on the cheek of jockey Jasen Watkins after he guided Mr Gold Fire to an eye-catching win in the cup last year.
But there's no way he'll be puckering up tomorrow even if the eight-year-old gelding is first past the post in the $60,000 race.
“No, that was a one-off; I got ridiculed enough last year,” Jarvis said.
Mr Gold Fire's form has been chequered since he raced in Lismore last year but he is a true stayer and will give a good account of himself as he attempts to defend his title.
Acceptances closed yesterday and Mr Gold Fire is among a field of 14 with Jarvis nominating fellow top-weights Jujulio and Onalar as the main dangers.
Jarvis was happy to hear that light rain had been falling in Lismore as he said moisture in the track might rule some of the other runners out of the equation.
“I'm reasonably confident that the horse is as good as we can get him, I think he is on song,” Jarvis said of Mr Gold Fire.
“He is a stayer and he is one of those horses that in the wet or dry still gives 100 per cent.
“The wet usually knocks out a few horses who just can't handle the wet and if it has rained it is a bit of an advantage for us.
Mr Gold Fire has drawn well with barrier six and Jarvis believes he should get a nice 'cart from there'.
“You don't seem to be able to win coming down the outside at Lismore,” Jarvis said.
“We'll try and run him one, two or three off the fence and you just need that little bit of luck as the field runs up to the turn. If he can see daylight, he'll poke his head through.
“I'm not saying he's definitely good enough to win it again, but he will give a good account of himself.”
Mr Gold Fire will be ridden by John Keating this year, who's had international experience, having ridden 550 winners, 50 of them in Malaysia.