TOP jockey Craig Newitt continues to make Devonport Cup day his own when he booted home four winners yesterday.
Although now firmly entrenched in Victorian racing the 27-year-old has never forgotten where he started and regularly rides at the major Tasmanian meetings.
While the Devonport Cup escaped him yesterday his roll of winners included three for his original master Leon Wells and another for trainer Leanne Gaffney.
Two years ago Newitt rode a career-best five winners on Devonport Cup day and in 2012 landed a treble and there was no doubt he was the punters' favourite again yesterday.
Newitt's three winners for Wells were the highly promising Unoaked, lightly raced Sariana's Star and top mare Rebel Bride.
Newitt is tipping that Unoaked could be a Devonport Cup contender in 2014 after the mare dashed away to win The Advocate Handicap (1650m) by over eight lengths.
The four-year-old is owned by the Victorian training partnership of Fran Houlahan and Brian Johnston who sent her to Wells to race last year.
``She is very well bred on both sides of her family and I think she is capable of winning up to 2000m,'' Wells said.
Unoaked ($3.20 fav) made the race a one-act affair when she joined in at the top of the straight and careered away.
Bride on target
REBEL Bride is on target to win her second $150,000 Bow Mistress Trophy after holding off Victorian Cellarmaster in the $25,000 Adam Brooks Quality.
Rebel Bride was ridden by Newitt when she won last year's race during the Hobart Cup carnival and he is likely to ride her again on February 3.
In between the mare will run in the $90,000 Tattsbet.com Stakes at Mowbray, on January 23, to keep her up to the mark.
IN-FORM colt Royal Rapture remains on target for the $50,000 Magic Millions 3YO (1200m) over the Launceston Cup carnival after he continued on his winning way.
Royal Rapture ($2.50 fav) withstood some early pressure and then fought off a late challenge to win the Graeme Dean Memorial Handicap (1150m).
Trainer Scott Brunton said Royal Rapture was continuing to improve with racing and it was his intention to put blinkers on the colt for the Magic Millions race on February 27.
Yesterday's race honoured former TROA life member Graeme Dean who died from cancer in July, 2011.
Dean was prominent supporter of racing and the race has become keenly sought after.
NEXT month's $225,000 Launceston Cup is the ambitious plan for lightly raced five-year-old Apache Son.
Spreyton trainer Vicki Rhind gave a hint to a Launceston Cup start for Apache Son after he proved too strong for his opposition in the Southern Cross Television Handicap (1880m).
Although it was only the gelding's second win in his career Rhind hasn't discounted him taking on the Launceston Cup.
``In the last few years the race has fallen away and I have no doubt this horse could run the 2400m distance,'' she said.
``He showed today what he could do after jumping from 1600m.''
Apache Son is owned in Victoria by Graeme Gathercole, of Graebar Park Thoroughbreds, at Mornington, and he has been a good supporter of the Rhind stable.
``The intention is to give him a week on the grass after today's race and we'll go from there.''
Apache Son was ridden by stable jockey Jason Maskiell who agreed the chestnut would handle the 2400m of the Launceston Cup.