A nine-race card greets us for Thursday racing at Wangaratta.
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Wangaratta race 3
Hesket has some solid form credentials behind him in preparation for this maiden race.
The three-year-old returns from a spell after gelded and is now under the care of Matthew Ellerton.
He has had two jump outs to ready with the most recent not exactly being pleasing to the eye, but one that will get his mind on the job for this first-up attack.
He was given a few slaps with the stick in the last quarter of his 800-metre jump out on December 17, but he was responded well when asked for an effort.
Kicking him off in country grade on a good track looks an ideal scenario for him.
Hoping he can blend in midfield with some cover and then sprint over the top of his rivals late in the race.
The booking of senior hoop Daniel Moor gives us confidence.
Suggested Bet: Hesket win at $3.10
Suggested Exotic: Boxed Trifecta – 2, 5, 6
Wangaratta race 4
#16 What happened
Possibly one of the most intriguing maiden runners we will see all week.
What Happened returns to Australia after having a stint in Hong Kong that clearly went amiss.
He was solid overseas after some slick trials in his first preparation, but comes back down under to tackle racing in Australia for the first time.
He is very lightly-raced five-year-old gelding who has been given plenty of time to get himself with a series of trials and jump outs.
His most recent piece work was a very nice 1100-metre trial win at Tatura where he was not asked to do a hell of a lot.
The wide barrier is why we are getting an each-way price, but happy to the take punt he can make up enough ground to at least run a place if he cannot win.
Suggested Bet: What Happened each-way at $8 the win and $2.7 the place.
Suggested Exotic: Quinella 13 & 16
wangaratta race 8
Going with Vuni each-way who gets the right scenario to run to his best in this race.
The six-year-old gelding took a sharp drop down in distance from 2100 metres to the mile last start and did a good job despite being drawn out wide and settling last.
The ground he made up at his run back on December 2 shows us he going well.
He now gets up to 2000 metres and draws an inside barrier, which will definitely see him get a much softer run in transit.
Jake Noonan should be able to get him to settle midfield or leaders from the barrier and he can use his fitness base to put the acid on just before they turn for home.
Suggested Bet: Vuni each-way at $13 the win and $3.6 the place.
Suggested Exotic: Boxed Trifecta – 7, 8, 11, 14
wangaratta race 9
#3 fontein diamond
Fontein Diamond returns to the races after being scratched from his run at Moonee Valley last Friday.
We were keen on him in that race given he was the sole leader on a Moonee Valley track that favours on pacers, but we get the chance to back him again.
He drops back to 1400 metres, but he is going to bound to the lead here and he showed his zest for racing is still at an all-time high after toughing it out in harder grade last start.
This BM-64 looks perfect for him with jockey Hannah Edgely claiming 3kgs.
Suggested Bet: Fontein Diamond each-way at $8.5 the win and $2.5 the place.
Suggested Exotic: Trifecta – 3/ 1, 4, 11, 15/ 1, 4, 11, 15