GOLD Coast-trained mare Speranza chases a third successive win at the Ballina Jockey Club TAB meeting today when she contests the $20,000 Benchmark 66 (1600m).
The Maryann Brosnan-trained five-year-old daughter of Exceed And Excel was previously trained at Ballina and while shooting for a third successive win at the track has three wins from seven starts there.
She is also adaptable, winning over 1355m on a Heavy 10 and then successful last start in a 1410m handicap on a Soft 5 surface.
Matthew Paget, who has piloted the mare to her past two wins, retains the mount and they will jump from barrier seven in the nine-horse field.
Speranza is not the only Gold Coast-trained horse in the field, with Ben Hull's Cushy Number also engaged. Two more Queenslanders - Rising Luck (Trevor Thomas) and Balboa Park (Mark Palmer) - are also engaged.
Last-start winner Wewonya, prepared by Hilary dew at Kempsey, comes off a Port Macquarie win and has drawn barrier six with Luke Rolls on top, while Grafton-trained Redwolf (Alan Ryan) has been in good recent form with seconds at Ballina as well.
He was beaten just over two lengths by Speranza in the most recent outing but meets the Gold Coaster 2kg better off. Carla Dougherty claims 2kg on Redwolf.
Local hopes are Terry McCarthy's Harbor Springs and Daniel Bowen's Malmoosa.
Harbor Springs is an eight-year-old daughter of Dane Shadow with five wins in 42 starts and $93,305 in prizemoney.
She was ninth to Speranza at Ballina when beaten just over five lengths on her home track.
Malmoosa is a four-year-old daughter of Foxwedge who won at Ipswich three starts back but finished ninth at her past two Doomben starts for her Lismore trainer.
She has won four of her 16 starts for Daniel Bowen and jumps from barrier four with Kirk Matheson on board, while Andrew Spinks and Harbor Springs go from barrier eight.
Casino-trained Galiano (Ian Savins) has drawn the pole (1) and comes off a 16th to Miss Dubois in the 2000m Country Classic at Rosehill on November 25.
Before that the gelding was second to Dazzle Us Again over 1905m at Ballina on November 13.