New Zealand apprentice Michael Dee has been handed a gilt-edged chance to begin his Australian stint with a winner at Moonee Valley.
Dee will spend three months with the Mick Price stable in Melbourne and his first ride will be on Royal Snitzel for the Caulfield trainer in the opening race on Saturday.
Stakes-placed Royal Snitzel, a winner of two of her three starts, resumes as an odds-on favourite in the Schweppes Handicap (1000m).
The filly is one of three rides at the Valley meeting for Dee, while he is also booked to ride the Price-trained Samartested at Sandown on Monday.
“Royal Snitzel is a very nice filly,” Dee said.
“It’s a good opportunity he (Price) has given me first off. She looks to be a nice ride.”
The 18-year-old has been in Melbourne for a couple of weeks and has ridden Royal Snitzel in trackwork.
The apprentice has ridden 107 winners including Hera who won the Group Two Eight Carat Classic at Ellerslie last year.
Dee’s experience in his first two years of race riding has also included a win aboard star mare Silent Achiever in an Open Handicap in New Zealand in February 2014 which he described as a huge thrill.
“I was feeling the pressure a little bit before the race but luckily she came out and won,” he said.
Dee is intent on making the most of his chance to ride in Australia, where he is able to claim 3kg in the metropolitan area.
“I’m out here for three months. If I go all right I’ll look to stay on a bit longer,” Dee said.
“I just want to try to ride as many winners as I can and take every opportunity that comes.”