Today the Warrnambool Racing Carnival continues with Black-Type action on the Victorian race card thanks to the running of the Wangoom Handicap 2016.
Due to run as Warrnambool Race 8 at 3:20pm (AEST) on the bumper 10-race program, this year’s $150,000 Listed Midfield Group Wangoom Handicap (1200m) originally attracted a full 16 starters plus two emergencies.
It will run under capacity however after four early scratchings including the Chris Waller-trained 58kg top weigh Heart Testa (16).
The two inside barriers were drawn by the second emergency Ruettiger (1) and Tycoon Tara (2), but both have subsequently also been scratched, as has the Andrew Noblet-trained By The Grace (8).
Leading the updated Wangoom Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $4.50 for the win is the Darren Weir-trained youngster Stellar Collison.
A nicely-bred Star Witness three-year-old, Stellar Collison comes right into a gun barrier three draw this afternoon for his hoop Michelle Payne.
Getting in on the 55kg minimum after weights were raised one kilo, the gelding shoots for his fifth win from seven career starts and his first in stakes class.
After a third at Flemington behind Super Cash in the Listed Moomba Plate (1100m) and a Moonee Valley win over 1200m defeating Demonstrate during March, Stellar Collison was last seen running ninth to Group 1 winner Japonisme in the Group 2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) at Randwick.
Back the Victorian way of racing, dropping weight and drawing a better barrier all work in his favour and give the young favourite genuine claims in a field full of depth.
It is an open Wangoom Handicap betting market this season with another five single-figure hopes including $5 second favourite Girl Guide.
Ciaron Maher’s Churchill Downs mare is drawn the opposite end of the field jumping from gate 13 with Dean Yendall retaining the ride.
Yendall was aboard the six-year-old last start at Caulfield on April 23 when she finished a devastatingly close second to Sheidel, nosed out of the win in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m).
That run a fortnight ago also saw Girl Guide jump from barrier 13 (of 14) as a $31 roughie, and she impressed with the close placing she’s out to improve on today despite another wide alley and going up from 54kg to 55kg in the weights.
The next best fancied at $8 is Yesterday’s Songs drawn one on the inside of the favourite Stellar Collison with James Winks to ride from gate two.
Prepared by Michael Moroney the Hentrythenavigator five-year-old hasn’t won a race since June last year and comes off an eighth to Precious Gem in the Listed Anniversary Vase (1400m) when beaten only three lengths.
Yesterday’s Songs is set to appreciate a more solid temp on the Wangoom Handicap this afternoon and should also enjoy the rain-affected track.
Currently Warrnambool is rated a Heavy (10) and the other gallopers best fancied by the bookies to handle the going are the rails-drawn Rain Affair ($9), Jimando ($9) and market mover Noela’s Choice ($9.50).
Rising Commands nine-year-old Rain Affair is now prepared locally by Daniel Bowman and races for the first time since October last year.
It has been a long time between drinks for the former star sprinter who is a multiple Group 2 winner and Group 1 runner-up, Rain Affair not having won anything other than a trial since the 2013 Missile Stakes three years ago.
Tony McEvoy prepares another son of Commands, six-year-old Jimando, who comes off three straight fourth place runs in stakes’ company including behind 2016 Stradbroke Handicap fancy Black Heart Bart in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) in late March.
Noela’s Choice meanwhile is another Weir-trained runner in the field, apprentice Harry Coffey booked to ride the five-year-old Sebring mare whose last run was a credible sixth to Written in Bendigo’s Gold Bracelet from March 19.
Check out the full Wangoom Handicap 2016 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and current Fixed Win odds below provided by Ladbrokes.com.au!