SOUTH Australian stayer Uchimura will be the only interstate runner in Wednesday’s $100,000 Devonport Cup after a Bass Strait trip was ruled out for the four Victorians entered in the race.
The final field for the Devonport Cup will be declared at 9am today, with Uchimura expected to challenge for favouritism with top local hopes Too Many Reds, Dream Flyer, The Cleaner and Catwen Boy.
Yesterday, Ballarat trainer Darren Weir ruled out a start for his pair Can Do and Keep Control and Caulfield trainer Tony Vasil intends keeping The Wingman at home.
Top trainer David Hayes had earlier declared Token Of Honour wouldn’t be running in the Devonport Cup.
Weir said Can Do and Keep Control, both owned by the Boxhall family in Hobart, weren’t racing well enough to consider a trip to Tasmania and instead both have been entered for the Koroit Cup at Warrnambool on Sunday.
The Wingman had been in line for a trip to Tasmania, but Vasil decided against it at the last minute.
“Tony decided to pull the pin as The Wingman has had six starts in nine weeks and that might count against him after taking into account the ferry trip over,” stable manager Sam Doran said.
Following the raid of Adelaide trainer and jockey Leon Macdonald and Clare Lindop in taking out Wednesday night’s Tasmanian Guineas with Moving Money, another of our feature races will be heading to South Australia if Uchimura salutes in the Devonport Cup.
The gelding is prepared by premier Adelaide trainer Tony McEvoy and he has engaged leading rider Matthew Neilson for Wednesday.
Longford trainer Troy Blacker is aiming to win the Devonport Cup in consecutive years and next week will be represented by Dream Flyer.
Dream Flyer is a half-brother to last year’s winner Dream Quest and Blacker has engaged Tasmania’s top jockey Brendon McCoull for the ride.
The Devonport Cup has proved elusive for McCoull – from 17 attempts he has won the race only twice, aboard Bay Ritz in 2006 and Lunardi two years later.
Although final acceptances will be taken this morning, the barrier draw will be held in conjunction with a calcutta at Spreyton Park at 2pm on Sunday.
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