Murwillumbah trainer Matt Dunn hopes he can provide South African jockey Chris Taylor with his first Australian winner when they combine with two runners at Ballina on Thursday.
Taylor, who has only had a handful of rides since he began riding for Dunn in late January, will be out to 'bookend' Thursday's seven-race meeting. He partners three-year-old filly Hollydeen in the opening race, the TAB.com.au F&M Maiden Plate (1300m) and the in-form mare Mia's Got Class in the last race, the Divine Prophet@Aquis Farm Benchmark 65 Hcp (1400m).
Dunn also accepted with Mia's Got Class in a race at Ipswich on Friday but has elected to tackle the Ballina race. However stablemate Lauderdale, an acceptor along with Mia's Got Class in the Ballina race, will be saved for a race at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
"Mia's Got Class is progressing really well this prep and is improving with every run. Thursday's race at Ballina just looks the perfect race for her, so we decided to run there instead of Ipswich," Dunn said.
The Rothesay mare is chasing her third successive win this campaign after posting victories in a Murwillumbah Benchmark 55 Hcp (1200m) on January 7 and a F&M Benchmark 65 Hcp over 1350m at Doomben on January 26.
Robbie Fradd has ridden her at each of her three runs this time in but was originally down to ride Lauderdale in Thursday's race, paving the way for Taylor to take over on Mia's Got Class.
Taylor has only had a handful of unplaced rides since he began riding for Dunn in late January, but gets two good winning opportunities at Ballina.
"Because of the type of visa he has, Chris can only ride for me at the moment," Dunn said. "He hasn't had a lot of opportunities so far, but he's a very well-credentialed rider who will eventually make it over here. And it would be nice to see him land his first winner for me at Ballina."
Dunn said Mia's Got Class could be an outside chance of progressing towards the Country Championships qualifier at Grafton next month if she continues to hold her form, but he currently has several of his team ahead of her in the pecking order for that $150,000 race.
Dunn expects his two other runners at Thursday's meeting - three-year-old fillies Hollydeen and Glamorous Miss (Robbie Fradd) - to both race well in the opening event.
Glamorous Miss, a beautifully-bred daughter of Redoute's Choice and the Sunday Silence mare Glamour Stock, made her debut with a fifth of eight runners behind Proof Perfect over 1000m at Ballina on January 19. She was slow to begin and was hampered at the 100m before finishing just over three lengths from the winner.
Denman filly Hollydeen has had two starts - a close third on debut at Murwillumbah on January 7, then sixth to Kijito over 1100m at on a soft5 track at Grafton on January 28.
"Hollydeen ran well on debut then wasn't happy on the soft ground at Grafton last time. Glamorous Miss just got too far back in her race, but finished off well and did strike a bit of trouble," he said.