Punters keep close watch on Taliano

The Michelle Russell trained Taliano will be firmly in the eyesight of punters when he contests race three at Wagga Riverside on Saturday.

There wouldn’t be many maidens that owed more money to local punters then the Michelle Russell trained Taliano.

The four-year-old, who has had nine starts for five placings, looks every part a genuinely good horse in his races but seemingly finds the odd way to get beat.

The Equiano gelding, who was at the ripe old odds of 40/1 when on debut at Bendigo in June last year, then started $2.25, $1.65 and $6 in his next three starts, finishing second, third and second in that run of placings at Albury, Wagga and Gundagai.

Since then, the Gundagai horse has been well in the market in each of his events, but has struggled to break through, although always finishing close enough to the winner to suggest he is going to be a good chance next start.

“I think he might owe a few people,” Russell laughed.

“He just hasn’t had a lot of luck but he is capable.”

Russell will have Taliano resuming at Wagga Riverside on Saturday, with the bay gelding set to contest the 1050m Maiden Handicap.

“I give him a good each way chance but really, he is a horse looking for more  ground,” Russell said.

“I would like to get him up to a mile but maybe 1400m is his limit, we aren’t quite sure yet.”

Taliano hasn’t been seen since finishing ninth and beaten 8.86 lengths at Wagga on January 21, the worst result in his short career.

“He didn’t pull up well after those hot meetings and that is why I tipped him out,” Russell said.

“We have just been working him at home and I gave him a barrier jump out last week.”

Apprentice hoop Heni Ede will be in the saddle for the claim, meaning Taliano should only carry 56kg.

“I put Heni (Ede) on for the three kilogram claim,” Russell said.

“She has a good position on a horse and has good hands and I think she will go well on him.”