The spotlight on Tasmania’s racing carnival switches to Spreyton on Wednesday with the running of the $120,000 Total Care Logistics Devonport Cup. The Devonport Cup sits alongside the Hobart and Launceston Cups as the State’s feature staying races and for the third year running it will offer huge prizemoney.
As a beneficiary of Betfair the Devonport Racing Club was able to double the prizemoney for the Devonport Cup in 2006 and on Wednesday the winning connections will take home over $80,000 in stakes and trophies.
Since the huge increase in prizemoney the Devonport Cup has started to attract the attention of interstate owners and trainers with Ballarat-trained Royal Lakes taking the prize last year for a syndicate of Gippsland footballers.
This year Victorian trainers Peter Moody, Robbie Griffiths and Peter Morgan had horses among the original nominations.
This year’s race will also provide the opportunity for another jockey to add his name to the honour roll.
Most of the State’s top riders – including Max Baker, Craig Newitt, Tony Skeoch, Beverley Buckingham, Stephen Maskiell and Brendon McCoull – have won the Cup.
Max Baker won the race five times, Craig Newitt three years running in 2002-04 and Bev Buckingham twice early in her career.
Newitt was a rising apprentice when he was aboard Chardere (2002, ’04) and Dream Quest (2003) and said it was the race that helped launch him onto the national stage.
Hall of Fame jockey Stephen Maskiell has won the Devonport Cup twice on Nakagima (1989) and race record holder Russian Rogue in 1992 and has the chance to add a third win after being engaged for topweight Conquering.
Brendon McCoull finally won the Cup at his twelfth attempt when Bay Ritz was successful in 2006 and he will ride sentimental favourite Lunardi on Wednesday.
The race has been kind to Simon Snell with wins aboard Pral D’Or (1998) and Torbellino (2000) and he could bring-up the hat-trick on Golden Mile winner Kanchanaburi.
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