Star jockeys chase glory
FOUR jockeys who have reached the pinnacle of their profession by winning black type races will ride in the XXXX Gold Lismore Cup (2100m) today.
Robert Thompson, who will ride Southern Shimmer, Glenn Lynch (Blinkin Easy), Grant Cooksley (Handsome Dane) and Patrick Holmes (Storm Fabulador) have all ridden Group One winners with Thompson also holding the mantle of Australia's most successful rider.
He has ridden more winners than any other jockey and continues to hold a commanding lead over his rivals.
Cooksley, Holmes and Lynch are all expatriate New Zealanders.
Cooksley has won Group One races in Australia and New Zealand while Holmes rode Group winners in New Zealand for leading trainer Shaun Ritchie before moving to Australia in 2007.
Lynch rose to prominence as the stable rider for Ron Maund when they took racing by storm with horses including Ice Chariot, Gold Edition, Street Smart and Pure Energy.
However, Lynch and Maund later split and Lynch eventually based himself at Tamworth where he has enjoyed considerable success on the country circuit.
Lynch, who is riding under a stay of proceedings after being suspended for causing interference at Tamworth, rates Blinkin Easy as a major chance today and a horse that should have won more cups.
"All I want is a trouble-free run," Lynch said.
"I have ridden him in several cups and he has been unlucky each time.
"Two years ago I rode him when he ran fourth in the South Grafton Cup and fourth in the Grafton Cup and he ran into plenty of trouble both times.
"The same thing happened in this year's Inverell Cup back in January.
"If ever a horse deserves to win a good race it is my bloke."
Trainer Ross Stitt said Southern Shimmer was spot-on for the cup although he not happy with the top weight of 59kg.
"Being a quality I thought he might have got a kilo less but there is not much we can do about it," Stitt said.
"This is the race I have set him for."
Ballina trainer John Everson has been forced to take Storm Fabulador into the Cup without a run for 27 days but is certain the horse is fit enough to run a big race.
"We have kept the work up to him and my daughter Sue Logan, who rides him in all his work, said he will be spot-on fitness-wise," Everson said.