Donna Riordan is optimistic her move to scratch Balcodia from Belmont Park on Wednesday will be rewarded when he lines up in the Mandurah Cup 6 January Maiden (1200m) at Pinjarra on Thursday.
Balcodia, searching for his first win in four career outings, displayed early promise as a two-year-old when he ran third to Passion Cantata on debut at Ascot earlier in February.
Plans to contest the Karrakatta Plate were shelved after the bay gelding beat just two runners home in the Magic Millions Perth 2YO Classic (1100m).
Balcodia, who resumed at Belmont on July 11, made little impression but Riordan believes there were signs of improvement at Pinjarra last fortnight.
Balcodia was no match for Karratha Crossing when 11th in the field of 12 before doing his best work late to be placed sixth behind Major Victory.
“He has finally drawn a barrier after two runs from bad gates,” said Riordan.
“Hopefully he can settle a lot closer than what he has been.
“I was pleased by his effort at Pinjarra and the way he attacked the line.
“He has come along nicely since that run and I’m really looking forward to a bold showing.”
Balcodia, to jump from barrier six, will carry 55kg for apprentice jockey Ellie Cockram.
Balcodia’s toughest opponent is likely to be The Grant Williams-trained Special Favour, who steps out for her maiden appearance.
The General Nediym filly, to be ridden by William Pike from gate 12, won a recent trial and will race with the addition of blinkers.
Former Gold Coast trainer Simon Foster has posted two wins and four placings from 14 starts since establishing a new base in Bunbury earlier this year.
Two of the placings have been courtesy of Churchill Downs stayer Fa’em, who will tackle the Alcoa Grandstand Cup 11 November Maiden (2000m).
Fa’em will command attention if he can repeat his previous performance when placed second to Master Robson over 2100m at Belmont Park.
The Bunbury stayer led for the majority of the event before just fading over the concluding stages.
“It was a strong effort at his first attempt over ground,” said Foster.
“He didn’t have things go all his own way when tackled by an outside runner whose saddle had slipped.
“He has really turned his form around after failing to beat a runner home at his first two race starts.
“He is beginning to appreciate and enjoy his work which is a good sign.
“He’ll either lead or box seat depending on the pattern of racing.
“He is going well and is in with top claims.”
Simon Miller and jockey Pat Carbery will combine with Hussy By Choice in the Pinjarra Classic 20 March Maiden (1200m).
Hussy By Choice, a filly by Hussonet, steps out for her first appearance and will attract admirers after posting an easy trial win by three lengths on July 30.