TRAINER Wayne Baker, once a more than capable rider back in the day, hopes his newest recruit rediscovers winning touch in Roma on May 23.
Apprentice Kate Patch shifted to the Baker stable a week ago after starting with Matt Kropp and faces a busy day at the races.
Baker, thinking Patch has been down on confidence, has given her rides on six of the stable's eight Roma starters and believes two have genuine winning prospects.
Patch will be aboard Beautiful Crazy in the Royal On 99 Maiden (1000m), Foxy Bella (Benchmark 50 1000m), The Last Dragon (Class B 1200m), Bridyn May (Class 4 Plate 1200m), Gendebein (Explorers Inn Open 1200m) and Red And Gold (Benchmark 60 1640m).
"Kate rides well but she's been lacking confidence and I hope it all comes together for her this weekend," Baker said.
"Foxy Bella and Bridyn May are both strong, front-running mares and they will be right in the mix. Foxy Bella has never been out of a place at Roma and Bridyn May has won her past two and has probably never been better."
Foxy Bella (Foxwedge-Acrylic) has started four times in Roma, winning twice and placing twice. She was a winner there on February 22 and in successive runs on March 28 and April 18 was placed.
Bridyn May (Snitzel-Macedon Lady) could edge past $100,000 in track prizemoney if she completes a winning hat-trick. She has $96,010 in the bank earned from four wins and 11 minor placings.
Angela Taylor rode her to an effortless win on the track on March 28 before senior hoop Robert Faehr had the winning ride on April 18.
Patch, a four kilogram claimer, has found the winning post on four occasions, the latest of which was at Roma on March 28.
Her subsequent rides have produced three placings.
This will be her second outing for the Baker team after riding seven for the stable at Barcaldine on May 16.
Patch is not due to complete her apprenticeship until February, 2024.
The Robert Burow stable has engaged Jason Hoopert for runners in consecutive races at Mt Isa - Dixie Rouge in the Benchmark 55 (1000m), Split The Atom (Open Plate 1100m) and King Solomon (Benchmark 60 1200m).
Hoopert will also be riding Toss Of A Coin (Benchmark 45 1450m) and A'Richbrunette (Class B 900m) for Sharyn Royes, Raptor in the Benchmark 69 (1450m) for Steven Royes, Chantilly Bay in the Maiden Plate (1000m) for trainer Scott Seymour and the Justin Bawden-trained Encoronada in the other division of the Benchmark 55.
"I have been busy and thankfully I have had some luck," Hoopert said.
"I moved up this way from the Sunshine Coast because the opportunities were drying up.
"With the zone racing in place the jocks from the east can't get out here so it makes for a busy time for the riders who are here.
"It took me a while to get a go on after I moved north but a few trainers started putting me on better horses and they were winning and things have been getting better each week.
"I am on a few handy ones tomorrow and hopefully the run continues."
Apprentice Elyce Smith returns to the scene of her astonishing accomplishment with a full book of rides in Emerald. Last month Smith rode six winners from eight outings, including five for local trainer Glenda Bell.
Smith and Bell will be paired again in two races through Fastnet Flyer and Fidereus while the former will also pilot Cider Apple, Shinkansen Maglev, Dutch Rocket and Miss Defiance for Mackay mentor John Manzelmann and Allofit and Tom's Star for Thangool-based Damien Rideout.