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Image: Darren Winningham

Veteran NSW jockey Robert Thompson has not ridden his Townsville Cup mount The Harrovian in a race but he knows first hand about the gelding’s ability.

The Harrovian is favourite for Saturday’s $150,000 Townsville Cup which is the third leg of the northern staying series.

Originally trained in Victoria by Jim Conlon, The Harrovian is now with trainer Steve Massingham in Cairns.

Since moving north early this year, The Harrovian has had six starts for four wins and two seconds at Cairns and Townsville.

Chris Whiteley has ridden The Harrovian in his four northern wins, but when the gelding got 54kg in the Cup connections had to look for a rider who could make the weight and came up with Thompson.

Although based at Cessnock in NSW, Hall of Fame jockey Thompson, the winner of 4400 races, is a regular at the northern carnivals and occasionally makes the trip for off-season meetings.

“I haven’t ridden The Harrovian in a race but I was second to him at Cairns when he overcame difficulties to win,” Thompson said.

“He looks a nice horse and a good Cup ride.”

Thompson has won the Cup on Once Upon A Crime in 1999.

The Harrovian is one of six horses who will carry leading North Queensland owner Tom Hedley’s colours in the Cup.

The horses, who are raced by Hedley in various combinations with other owners, are The Harrovian and Vassal (trained by Massingham), Follow Suit and Estikhraaj (Lauren Abbott), Harden (Michael Geaney) and Crimson Halo (Roy Chillemi).

Rockhampton’s Mr Attitude put himself in line for a bonus when he won the $100,000 Cleveland Bay Handicap on Thursday.

Mr Attitude gave jockey Les Tilley and trainer Ricky Vale their biggest day when he made it six wins from his past seven starts

The gelding won the Mackay Newmarket at his previous start which means he has two legs of the northern Sprint bonus series.

He can win a $100,000 bonus if he can add the Cairns Newmarket next month to his wins.

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