AFTER riding almost 3,400 winners it comes as no surprise that Australia’s record-holding jockey Robert Thompson struggles to remember one he rode 26 years ago.

That was his only winner of the Coffs Harbour Cup – a horse called Justkez – back in 1983. “I can’t remember too much about that day but it was a good tough win,” Thompson said. “It was the late Keith Swan who trained him.”

Thompson heads back to Coffs Harbour on Thursday in an effort to win only his second Cup on a horse that took out the race only two years ago in Derivative Receipt. But on that occasion the Cup was run over 2300m and the journey has now been reduced to a mile.

“That’s my only concern,” said Thompson who finished second to Derivative Receipt in 2007 on Fair Trial for (trainer) Bill Farrow.

Armidale trainer Keith Hiscox offered Thompson the mount when regular rider, Geoffrey Snowden, had a track accident and broke his knee. “He likes it a bit longer but Keith says that he's freshened up nicely since his Grafton Cup run and he expects him to run a good race.”

In Fixed Odds betting on TAB Sportsbet the Sydneysider Mossurmi is the $4.40 Cup favorite ahead of Save a Buck and Lockmar at $5.50 then Legendary Man at $8. Derivative Receipt is a $15 chance.

The Carnival this Wednesday and Thursday (August 5 and 6) is regarded as ‘the biggest party on the Coffs Coast.’ It is a half-day public holiday for the Cup on Thursday when 10,000 turn out.

IF YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COFFS HARBOUR CUP CARNIVAL GO TO THE GETAWAY AND GO RACING SECTION OF THIS WEBSITE (May to August) and learn more about the racing, the region and the tourist attractions.