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Former Tassie Galloper The One To Beat At Wagga

Former Tasmanian galloper Divi will take an impressive record into her stable debut for trainer Todd Smart at Wagga on Monday.

Divi has won five of her 11 starts and last time out finished fourth at Moonee Valley in February before being purchased by Yass hotelier Mark Vallender.

In her only public appearance for Smart, Divi was an impressive Goulburn trial winner in fast time defeating the talented Super Star Bob.

Leading jockey Blaike McDougall has been booked to ride Divi in her regional debut.

"It is more than 50 day between races starts, but she trialled well and should be hard to beat,” Smart said.

“She has come across from Tasmania with solid form and a good record so on her trial she should be right there.”

The topweight Leami Astray is a proven performer in this grade and will have four kilogram claiming apprentice jockey Madison Waters aboard reducing her weight to 57kg.

Leami Astray has won three of her seven starts when fresh and will search for the lead despite so many speed horses drawn inside her at the start.

Trainer Robert Price will only start Leami Astray at Wagga after electing to scratch his other two horses.

The astute trainer won with Budderoo Knight at big odds at Wagga in February and will make the lengthy trip from his base on the South Coast with the sole runner.

Waters is indentured to Price and has ridden one winner and a few placings from 20 rides.

“She has good hands for a young rider and sits on the horses really well,” he said.

"The horse has drawn out a bit, but it’s only over 1000 metres so it won’t matter too much.”

Another of the main chances, Pleasant, had no luck last start at Moonee Valley when unable to gain a clear run finishing second last but less than four lengths from the winner.

Pleasant is back to country grade where he is unbeaten in three starts in the region for trainer Phil Sweeney.

Smart will also start Great Glen, which is also raced by Vallender, in the Country Cup (2000m).

Great Glen ran third at triple figure odds in the Albury Cup and has a strong chance of figuring in a competitive race, according to his trainer.

“He goes up in the weights, but is back in grade,” Smart said.

"He will probably get back a bit and be saved up for one run at the leaders at the finish.”

Meanwhile, with the score on the board in tougher company, Charming Pat and Eastern Wind could dominate the 2yo (1000m).

Charming Pat was placed second behind subsequent Golden Slipper winner Farnan at Canberra and has bene freshened since his last start in Sydney.

Back to his home track and with race experience and ability on his side, Charming Pat looks set to break through for his debut win.

Eastern Wind will also return to racing after performing well in two metropolitan starts late last star.

The youngster ran fifth at Randwick and tenth at Flemington and will find the return to country grade on his home track a bonus.


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