RACING: Matt Paget will have his work cut out for him if he is to ensure a Grafton jockey takes out the coveted XXXX Gold Inverell Cup (1400m) for the third time in a row.
The Inverell Cup has become a New Year's Day tradition for the bush racing club, and has been the playtoy of Grafton hoop Matt McGuren for the past two years.
But with injury forcing McGuren out of the saddle, Paget, 38, will be the only jockey flying the Grafton flag.
He won't have it easy, with Paget taking the reins on board topweight challenger Hammoon Boy for Tamworth's Sue Grills.
Paget has had success partnering with the seasoned galloper, finishing third in the $100,000 Tamworth Cup in April last year, but they will need to do plenty early on to overcome a tough draw in barrier 12.
Early favourite Try N Run A Muck (Troy O'Neile) looms as the toughest challenge along with former boom colt Mishani Honcho for Inverell's own Shane Edmonds.
Paget will bring form into the feature race after riding 26 winners this season including a dominant 1.4-length victory on Les Kelly's Capa Caylee at Ballina on Boxing Day.
Paget finished second in the Inverell Cup in 2015 in a four-way photo finish.