TRAINER Steve Phillips will have his sights set on victory when jockey Dan Ballard lines up on Sunfair in the Vivid Miss Open Handicap (1200m) at Murwillumbah on Monday.
With increased interest from trainers and owners forcing organisers to boost Monday's program to eight events, Phillips is determined to fly the flag for local trainers in an event named in honour of one of the Tweed region's most successful horses.
Trained at Murwillumbah by Lenny Schmidt, Vivid Miss earned high praise for her winning ways, something the Tweed River Jockey Club was determined to acknowledge.
"The club has honoured Vivid Miss as her efforts, particularly in Brisbane, showed that Murwillumbah-trained horses can match it with the best," club president Bernie Quinn said.
Sunfair, raced by a group of locals including Chinderah publican Harold Jones, will start among the favourites on Monday after a string of impressive performances at Eagle Farm and Lismore.
The seven-year-old has drawn barrier six but has shown a liking for the Tweed track, scoring five wins and three minor placings from just 12 starts at the facility.
Meanwhile, Gold Coast trainer Gerald Ryan has engaged top jockey Zac Purton to ride newcomer Atom in the first on Monday.
After trialling in Sydney, Atom will have her first race start in the Kingscliff Surf Centre Maiden Plate (1200m).