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Coffs Harbour trainer Jim Jarvis now has his sights on a return for the rich Country Championships with Evopex

Buoyed by his first Sydney metropolitan win, Coffs Harbour trainer Jim Jarvis now has his sights on a return for the rich Country Championships with Evopex.

The gelding made his way to Jarvis as a tried horse with one win in Victoria for trainer Peter Morgan.

On Saturday at Randwick, Evopex, the $6 favourite, led all the way in the Highway Handicap (1600m) to hold off Vertex ($11) by a short neck in testing conditions.

It was his third win for Jarvis who told jockey Tommy Berry to make up his mind early from a wide barrier 10 of 14.

“From that barrier he’d get very cluttered midfield because there’s not much pace in the race because most of them are midfielders so I told him to make up his mind in the first 50 metres,” Jarvis said.

“He’s only a pony. He’d be flat out being 15 hands but he’s got a big heart.”

“I’ve trained plenty of metropolitan winners in Melbourne and Brisbane but this is my first in Sydney.

“He is a Country Championships horse. That’s what I bought him for.”

After two days of rain in Sydney, the meeting began the day with a track rated a heavy 9 and was upgraded one point after two races.

The Melbourne training partnership of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace took the honours in the first race with Yulong January ($2.90 fav) beating Royal Celebration ($3) by two lengths.

Maher and Eustace are making good on their intention to bring more horses to Sydney with Dubious winning last Saturday’s Breeders’ Plate at Randwick.

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