There are few more experienced jockeys than Kevin Forrester who has had stints in Victoria, Queensland, NSW, South Australia, Western Australia and Asia.
And at 55, he has found a new lease of life winning stakes races this autumn on Jungle Edge, most recently the Group Three BRC Sprint at Doomben three weeks ago.
The pair will combine in the Group One Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben on Saturday and Forrester is already thinking about his victory celebration.
“Some sushi and a can of coke on Sunday. It is great after a week of dieting,” Forrester said.
Forrester hasn’t ridden a Group One winner since Patani in the 2004 Adelaide Cup and his only Brisbane Group One victory was on Dupain in the 1996 Brisbane Cup.
Both races have since been downgraded to Group Two level.
He thinks Jungle Edge is an ideal horse for the Stradbroke now he has drawn barrier seven in Saturday’s $1.5 million race over 1350 metres.
“He should be bowling along while the others are worried about getting positions. They won’t want to take us on as it will be their undoing,” Forrester said.
He and trainer Mick Bell have been in Queensland for the past month and are enjoying the experience.
“I am a battler who is just having fun being here for Group One races,” Bell said.
He was at first upset when the Stradbroke was moved from Eagle Farm to Doomben but is now content with the move.
“Some rain would be nice but as long as the track isn’t rock hard I think he will run a race,” Bell said.
“I wouldn’t risk him on a hard track but I am told it is highly unlikely to get to a good three.”
Bell, who lost his wife to cancer earlier this year, has taken advantage of his time in Queensland to catch up with friends including John McKenzie, his coach from his days as an Australian Rules player in country Victoria.
“Mick wasn’t the greatest footballer but he always tried hard. It is the same with his horses, you should never underestimate them or him,” McKenzie said.