Champion jockey Robert Thompson has been booked to partner the promising Volpe for Team Hawkes at Muswellbrook on Thursday.
The three-year-old son of Foxwedge travels to the Upper Hunter in a bid to land a breakthrough success in the Two Rivers Wines Maiden Handicap (1280m).
Volpe looks ideally placed here following a meritorious first-up appearance when fourth at Warwick Farm over 1200m on December 28.
The biggest danger is likely to come from a debutant, with the Kim Waugh-trained Manhattan Mist coming to the races following three trials, including a 800m win at Gosford on December 6.
Punters will be treated to a seven-race card, also highlighted by the latest heat of the Rising Star series for the apprentice jockeys.
There is no more in-form hoop than Rachel King, who could win on a broomstick at the moment.
In this heat she will ride the Paul Perry-trained Slippery Moss, a solid campaigner dropping back in grade and trip for this assignment.
Also notable is the return to the races of Rod Northam’s Rosella Amalfi, a mighty impressive debut winner at Scone back in August.
The track is rated a Good 4.
Racing is from 1.55pm, with the last at 5.35pm.
Selections – Race 1: Slippery Moss, Penultimate Star, Independent Air; Race 2: Kokopu, Stan, Southern Delight; Race 3: Eilean Donan, Ruby Red Gift, Justus; Race 4: Volpe, Manhattan Mist, Benfica Bay; Race 5: Rosella Amalfi, Local Hero, Planet Reality; Race 6: Dancing Daydream, Cash To Splash, Deangelo; Race 7: Happy Go Plucky, All Aflutter, Oakfield Tycoon.