High hopes Rocket takes off

His best chance is scratched but Mudgee trainer Brett Thompson still holds a strong hand in the Elders Finance 2yo Maiden Plate (900m) at Wellington on Saturday.

Thompson scratched Velocity Miss on Thursday after the filly's owners decided it was best to give her a spell.

A veteran of three starts, all in the metropolitan area, the Librettist x Inertia (NZ) filly has already recouped the $27,000 Thompson paid for her as a yearling.

With Velocity Miss gone, Thompson is left with debutantes Dane's Rocket and Willywhoosh for the Wellington event, the latter being a full-brother to stable star Hewentwhoosh.

Stable apprentice Hannah Martin will ride Dane's Rocket while Cowra hoop Mathew Cahill takes the mount on Willywhoosh.

"They should both run well but if the other filly had started she would have just won it," Thompson said.

"But the owners wanted to send her for a spell and aim her at the Inglis Classic race on January 19.

"We ran fourth in that race last year with Classical Melody so we will freshen her up and give her a shot at it as well because it's worth good money."

Of his remaining two runners, Thompson believes Dane's Rocket is the pick due to the fact it is a natural two-year-old type that will sit on the pace, a decided advantage at the Wellington track.

"They're both nice horses but I think Willywhoosh will be better in six months' time," Thompson said.

"He's a different type of horse to Hewentwhoosh, who was a natural two-year-old. The both only had light trials and Willy might have improved from that to the race, we really don't know because we don't work the two-year-olds real hard at home.

"If I was having a bet it would probably be on Dane's Rocket but in this race last year Domuar Miss went around as a $1.60 favourite and we had Slate On Edge come out and win at about $15. It's a lottery with two-year-olds."

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