Jockey Robert Thompson is hopeful that he can ride his eighth Jungle Juice Cup winner aboard Sly Lu at Cessnock tomorrow.
The Mark Mason-trained Sly Lu is out to win his fourth race in a row after taking out the Breast Cancer Cup at the same track on May 22.
Sly Lu now returns from a short break to be partnered with Thompson, who is looking to win his first cup since 1994 when he won aboard Beaucastel.
“Sly Lu is my best chance to win the cup again in the past six or seven years,” Thompson said.
“He should give me a good ride.”
Thompson said that Sly Lu performs at his best when he is fresh.
“He’s a nice horse. Mark has done a great job with the horse, looked after him and he keeps him fresh,” he said.
“That’s the way he likes to race.”
Sly Lu has won ten of his 22 race starts, giving him a win percentage of 45%.
Thompson was impressed with Sly Lu’s latest three length victory over 1,350 metres.
“He won very well last start,” he said.
“While everything went his way, he led and dictated, there was a lot of merit in the win.”
The jockey will have to overcome Sly Lu’s wide gate of 14 in the Cup.
“Tomorrow is certainly a harder race,” Thompson said.
“He’s drawn wide, goes up in regard to the better class of horses he meets and carries the same weight (59kg).
“In saying that, the horse is in good order, going well.”
Thompson rode Sly Lu in trackwork last Friday morning and was pleased with what he saw.
“It was good work,” Thompson said.
“He felt good under me.”
The jockey is hopeful that he will be able to travel near the lead despite the wide barrier.
“There’s a lot of speed tomorrow,” he said.
“”It’s sure to be truly run race.
“O’Crikey goes forward and he’s drawn outside me.
“Hopefully I can get a cart up somewhere and get some cover.”
Thompson is hoping to add Sly Lu’s name to a Jungle Juice Cup winning list that includes Top Hat Joe (1982), Action Time (1985), Barzoon (1986), Justifiably Proud (1988), Desalante (1989), Night Rimu (1993) and Beaucastel (1994).