TOP Australian jockey Darren Gauci is to return to the territory to ride Station Hand for Peter Hayes in next month's $5.5 million International Cup. Gauci recently rode Station Hand into third behind Octagonal and Mahogany in the Group One W. S. Cox Plate and can't wait to get back to town. Speaking from Melbourne, Gauci said yesterday: 'I'm already crossing off the days on the calendar on my kitchen wall. 'I had some great times in Hong Kong and was planning to pop back for a week's holiday anyway. To be able to come back and ride a good horse in the International Cup is a real bonus.' Gauci added: 'Station Hand has definitely got a chance. He can be a bit in-and-out, but I've only ridden him the once and he went really well for me. 'He's a grinder. He wouldn't like it if the Cup is run as a sit and sprint, but if there is a solid pace on the whole way then he must be some kind of chance.' Gauci has been riding better than ever in Melbourne and looks a big hope to notch his fourth title. He is second in the standings, three behind Damien Oliver, having ridden 24 winners in town since August. He returned from a painful and embarrassing 'groin' injury to ride a winner on Saturday and to also run third on Juggler in the Group One Nissan Stakes. Juggler, trained by Gai Waterhouse, is Australia's first reserve for the showpiece 1,800-metre International Cup on December 10. On Saturday he finished way ahead of last season's International Cup winner, State Taj, in the Nissan as well as New Zealand's first reserve, Marquise, who in turn finished well clear of New Zealand's selected runner, Marconee. 'Yesterday's race wasn't run to suit State Taj, but all the same he did nothing in the race to make me think that Station Hand couldn't beat him in the Cup,' Gauci pointed out. 'State Taj looked well in the mounting yard, but was drawn wide and they tried to ride him back on a day when the track bias was really in favour of those up on the speed. 'I was also drawn wide on Juggler and followed State Taj for much of the way and had little trouble running past him. We were both wide all the way and you have to say it wasn't much of a run from State Taj.' Gauci, formerly attached to Lawrie Fownes and to Neville Begg during a three-year stint in the territory, is likely to come in for plenty of rides on December 10 from these and other stables.