The main race on a seven race card at Wagga on Wednesday January 9 will come in race six when promising gelding Upward Ever Upward has his second crack at the fast class after a close, fast finishing 5th three starts back.
Since then the four year old cruised home in 57 and 28.6 when winning by 25m at Leeton before finishing a 10m 2nd when favourite to unbeaten Neil Day pacer Eten.
His main rival come race time, 9.10PM, will be C10 M3 pacer Outa Neutral. The seven year old half brother to handy Victorian Paralyser is out of the Yirribee Pacing Stud mare Outa Credit and by Neutrality. Upward Ever Upward, trained and driven by Brett Woodhouse, a son of Yirribee founder Rod Woodhouse, is out of Maid Of Oak by the Yirribee based sire. Giving the race a possible Yirribee trifecta is the son of River Khan/Zippity, Big And Rich who has drawn awkwardly in one, given the tough pacers customary slow gate speed.
Other place chances in the seven horse field are Stars Are Blue, a nice third when first up at Leeton on New Years Day, and Bridal Gift has been racing well, winning three starts back. The remainder of the field is made up of Tartan Falcon and Armbro Bounty, who both would have to improve significantly on recent form.
Backtracking to race one, set to start at 6.40PM, and last start Albury winner Miss Kaila looks to be the one to beat although drawing eight for the 1755m trip.
The three year olds will go around in race two and picking the winner looks to be a hard task in this open event. Bilirubin won last season as did Feathersnfurs however both could only manage seventh when first up. Debutante placegetter Miss Nightowl has drawn well in two while Elizabeth Ray has not been too far away at her only two starts this season. Shreksdonkey has collected a cheque in all four of his starts however a bad draw gives him no favours while Dangerous Goodes has been running well before a last start eighth when being checked and losing ground early in the race.
In race three the battle for the lead could decide the race with Casino Next, Jade Priestess, Roma Holiday and Riverina Smile, drawn one through to four respectively, all capable of winning in this grade. Hares Crossing is down in grade but has drawn badly in the inside of the second row while Bring Home Money is a very capable mare and will be doing her best work late.
On the strength of her two wins from four starts Anns Halo would almost be a certainty to take out race four but drawing in seven has put payed to that. Although the 4yo mare will probably start favourite her bad luck at the barrier draw has brought recent placegetters Ravenclaw, Carcoar, Amerigo Robyn and Yeronga Ecila right into this.
Recent winners Herdon, Fantome Gris, Atomic Belle, Travelling Soldier and Myrniong Vancealot will come up against each other in race five. Herdon has improved dramatically this season, winning two of five and placing twice with a nice fourth also to his credit, while Fantome Gris won 2 on the pace not long ago. Atomic Belle has also won two this season and Travelling Soldier is down in grade however Myrniong Vancealot has been the most impressive, winning three finishing in the minors on a further three occasions.
The last of seven at 9.40PM has limited form so last start placegetter Bee Jay Helen gets my pick on her draw ahead of Annaalmahurst and The Happy Gambler.