A WEEK after his former apprentice stepped into the Group 1 limelight, Roma trainer Craig Smith will chase a second spot in the Battle of the Bush series final.
Smith has already qualified Malibu Affair after its win at Home Hill on May 18 and engaged Matt McGillivray for the mount.
At Doomben on June 1 McGillivray joined an august list of riders when he steered Winning Ways to an emotion-charged victory in the $500,000 Queensland Oaks only a few days after the death of the filly's owner Paul Makin.
Smith has accepted with Rooi Roe for the Bush qualifier at Barcaldine. Dale Evans will make the trek out from Rockhampton to take the mount. Evans was aboard when Rooi Roe finished on the heels of the placegetters at Gladstone on June 1.
At her previous start Rooi Roe pipped roughie Mamselle Corday in Rockhampton on May 21.
The Barcaldine race has attracted a capacity field of 12 along with five emergencies.
Ilfracombe seven-year-old Kakakenny is assured of a place in the $125,000 Bush final (1200m) at Eagle Farm on June 22 courtesy of his qualifying win on May 11 in Longreach.
He has since added a win over the Aramac 1200 metres to his career sheet and rider Brooke Richardson will try to seal a winning hat-trick on the gelding.
Trainers Renee Schulenz and Stefanie Horner could hold the key to the last of the 16 Bush series qualifiers in Cairns on June 10.
Both stables have dual representation through Exceedingly Kool (Wanderson D'Avila) and Little Stryker (Pietro Romeo) and Shudakeptim (Shohei Kaya) and Backtospec (Stephen Wilson).
Rival Alwyn Bailey has also accecpted with two horses as well - Craiglea Aldi (Manabu Kai) and Rose of Kalloni - though the latter is only an emergency and not guaranteed of a start.
Robert Thomspon, Australia's most successful jockey in terms of individual wins with more than 4500 on the board, will ride the topweighted How Can I Help in Cairns for the Janel Ryan stable.
The Cairns event was to be run at Mareeba on June 1 but that meeting wass abandoned because of the start of the track.
Barcaldine - 1 Bush Caviar (Paul Hamblin), 2 Rooi Roe (Dale Evans), 3 Heroism (John Rudd), 4 Kakakenny (Brooke Richardson), 5 Chief Advocate (Luke Dillon), 6 Wicked Woody (David Rewald), 7 Zendaye (Joshua King), 8 Avoid The Missus (Martin Haley), 9 Make Amends (Emma Bell), 10 Menacing (Matthew Milford), 11 Bold Peak (Stanley Watkin), 12 Hanover Square (Minonette Kennedy), 13 Timetus (no rider), 14 Italian Son (no rider), 15 Rosexcel (no rider), 16 Bound To Me (no rider), 17 Zatorio (no rider).
Cairns - 1. How Can I Help (Robert Thompson), 2 Craiglea Aldi (Manabu Kai), 3 Exceedingly Kool (Wanderson D'Avila), 4 Little Stryker (Pietro Romeo), 5 Kahuna (Chelsea Jokic), 6 Coutainville (Les Tilley), 7 Voltaic (Chris Whiteley), 8 Banshee Jet (Bonnie Thomson), 9 Keen Instinct (Nor Yadi), 10 Shudakeptim (Shohei Kaya), 11 Ahern (Graham Watson), 12 Backtospec (Stephen Wilson), 13 Rose Of Kalloni (no rider).