It will be an exciting day for two young apprentices who make their debut in the saddle, Chloe Wells and Erica Byrne Burke adding depth to Tasmania's apprentice ranks after being prominent at the trials in recent months.
It looks a competitive program on paper with most of the races lacking a dominant favourite.
R1 Ladbrokes Maiden, 1009m
SCRIBBLER (9) fired to the front from an inside draw over this distance last start and gave a good kick in the straight. That was at Class 1 level but this time she'll need to overcome the widest draw. Stablemate ZAHEELI (10) hasn't been far off the mark in races like this but also hasn't had much luck with the gate. DRAMAZING (4) was a $22k purchase who is on debut with the blinkers coming off. She raced a bit more professionally than UBRIACO (2) when they met at the trials, the latter being slow out of the gates. Rowan Hamer will saddle up a couple with little exposed form. HELEN'S THE BOSS (5) stayed in the gates at her only Tassie start and had to trial to regain her ticket. MEIGETSU (6) chased one that is above maiden grade in her Longford trial. Look for any market lead on DADORABLE (3) having her first start for Team Wells and OXY DREAM (11) is a 2YO tackling the older horses and will have weight relief as a result.
R2 Goodstone Group Maiden, 1350m
It was hard to miss GEE GEE BARACUS (1) savaging the line over a shorter distance last start. Back to 1350m suits and at his run two starts back over this trip he finished in between two subsequent winners. CHEEKY ONE (5) has been scratched from the last two Sunday's, the most recent when a rider was unavailable. Up in distance with over a month between runs might not be ideal but there doesn't appear much speed in the race. GEE GEE SILENTNITE (2) has had a couple of months off and was solid enough for a race like this last campaign. The recent Longord trial was at least a pass mark. INNOCENT PEGG (7) ran better than the market expected first-up. She followed the rail there but is guaranteed to start from the widest draw on Sunday.
R3 Kevin Sharkie Mdn/cl1, 1880m
HIGH MAINTENANCE (1) was heavily supported in betting before being given a nice ride by Codi Jordan to win over this distance last start. The gelding rises 3kg from that, but this is no harder and the win was soft on the line. Both JOPHIEL (5) and JUDGE BURNS (2) are on the seven-day back-up after racing in the opener at Hobart. Judge Burns was the shorter of the two but those coming from behind were favoured and Jophiel was good late. WE NEED A STAR (3) opened the same price as High Maintenance last time but they went separate ways in the market. He can run into the money in a race that falls away pretty quickly.
R4 Birdcage Tavern Benchmark 66 Hcp, 1880m
VIDEMANETTE (6) was scratched here a fortnight ago from a mile race. She was flying prior to that but her one run in Devonport was poor and she isn't proven past the mile. PHENOMENAL DANCER (3) had the run of the race last time and duly saluted. She maps for a good run again but does meet STINKA (2) 1.5kg worse who was very good from back in that race off a very slow tempo. RHODE AWAY (4) also comes through a slowly run race where he beat home SPIRIT OF WIORA (5) and WINEGLASS BAY (7). This race lacks obvious pace as well and could become a tactical affair.
R5 Carlton And United Breweries Class 1 Hcp, 1350m
ENDURED (2) resumes after a campaign that saw her get out over the staying trip. She's been consistent throughout her career and from a low draw this looks a nice race for her first-up. BRAHMA ARMOUR (5), HERMAN'S BELLS (3) and INDIGO GIRLS (4) all drop back in distance from a 1600m race where the form held up reasonably well last Sunday. Brahma Armour was first home of that trio and is the weight horse, dropping 3.5kg. PERKINS (1) was a big run a fortnight ago after being caught off the track. She keeps picking up cheques since joining the Alana Fulton stable. PORT BERRY (6) is yet to miss the quinella in two Devonport 1350m starts and finished ahead of Perkins at a huge price in that race.
R6 Happy Mother's Day Benchmark 66 Hcp, 1350m
Adam Trinder has a strong team to start the quaddie with three in the race. HERO OF ROMANI (6) is aiming for three in a row and will have his form tested in the previous race. His winning time was about eight lengths slower than SANCTION KING (2) here a fortnight ago who is racing in great form this campaign. MAGIC WALER (7) rounds out the Trinder trio. He won three of his first seven starts but none since October 2019. The 5YO gelding gives apprentice Erica Byrne Burke her first race ride. Incidentally Chloe Wells is in the same boat, she'll be making her debut in the saddle aboard GEE GEES CRICKET (8) who's form is better than it reads and generally takes a bit of time to fire into the preparation. DATE NIGHT (1) will appreciate having Codi Jordan back aboard who has won on the horse, and a bit of weight relief from the huge impost of last start. LOKI PATERA (3) is generally better over the short sprints but does have a good Devonport record.
R7 Thai Imperial 0-60, 1650m
DIXIE'S BOY (3) has put in a pair of nice return runs this campaign and looks ready for the rise in distance. His form can receive a push via Sanction King in the previous race. SPIHRO (6) is now an 11YO but wasn't miles away in the same race and has the senior rider back on. HUON CHIEF (1) led to win with the pattern is his favour on Good Friday and then missed the start last time out. He was still fine there but I suspect leading is his preference. WOODS POINT (8) was doing his best work late and should appreciate the extra distance. He's another who has a form reference through previous races. RED FIORE (2) found the 1150m too sharp but may still need this one to show his peak. IRISH SHOTGUN (7) on the other hand comes back in distance and hasn't been too bad in two runs since transferring to Scott Brunton. ONEIRA (9) was ok at her Tasmanian debut and has the visors replacing blinkers.
R8 Tasmanian Horse Transport Class 1 Hcp, 1150m
MICHBAR (2) resumes with form around some well-performed 3YO's from last campaign. He was given a solid pipe opener at the Longford trials and his only win came first-up. SILENT DREAMER (1) had little peace in front when winning his maiden but held off all the challengers. From the inside draw, expect similar tactics to be attempted. NEEDS TO BELONG (3) is a nice type resuming and one of three that John Blacker will saddle up. He was probably in the wrong part of the track on Devonport Cup day and comes in without a trial. LIKILIKU (5) wasn't disgraced at her first run for the stable and ZEGREY (4) is the third Blacker runner who may need further but will be hoping to hit the line hard. ROBBEN ISLAND (7) will need to overcome the widest draw but has each-way claims with luck in the run.
R9 Vale Jim Daw Benchmark 60 Hcp, 1150m
RISING HSIANG (6) has made a splash since transferring to Glenn Stevenson, now looking for a hat-trick of wins. He was a soft winner in this grade last start and though he's penalised 2kg he still is in well given his current form. BLACK MAGIC WOMAN (1) is also looking for three on the bounce and gives apprentice Erica Byrne Burke a great chance of a winner at her first race meeting. She maps to have every chance from a low draw. GEE GEES TEARDROP (2) overcame a torrid run to win a Class 1 last time but may need to do the same from a wide gate. RHYME WRITER (5) has enjoyed getting back to the synthetic but couldn't hold off the stablemate who had a softer run last start. His form ties right in with the key chances. MISS EXCESS (4) is back in distance and will be charging late if swoopers have their chance. Team Wells have four down the bottom who are all early in their campaign and I'd keep an eye out for any market lead on VAREKAI (8), GEE GEES SAINT NIK (9), GEE GEE PUREBLONDE (10) and SCHAZEM (11).