TOP jockey Stephen Maskiell returns from holidays to ride major cups contender Unoaked in the main race at Spreyton on Sunday.
Unoaked has equal topweight of 60 kilograms in the Benchmark 78 Handicap but trainer Leon Wells has decided to stick with an experienced jockey rather than book a claiming apprentice.
The five-year-old mare has won six races since joining the Wells stable from Victoria, and has been ridden by a senior jockey each time.
Maskiell rode Unoaked to her first two wins in May-June last year.
Craig Newitt (three times) and Anthony Darmanin have been the other successful riders.
Unoaked won four races in a row last summer, including a 2100-metre open handicap at Mowbray in February which gave her automatic entry into the Launceston Cup.
Wells debated whether to run her in the feature race as ``she had been up for a fair while'' but decided it was worth a throw at the stumps.
She finished unplaced and was sent to the paddock.
Unoaked has raced twice since a spell and indicated she was heading for another successful campaign when a fast-finishing second to Innocent Gamble over 1150m at Spreyton a fortnight ago.
The step up to 1350m on Sunday looks ideal.
Wells has always believed that it would be a case of ``the further, the better'' for the stoutly bred mare who is by Darci Brahma, a five-time group 1-winning grandson of top staying sire Zabeel.
The Devonport, Hobart and Launceston Cups are all possibly targets this season.
Meanwhile, top apprentice Rasit Yetimova will ride at Spreyton on Sunday before starting a two-meeting suspension.
Yetimova pleaded guilty to careless riding on Syndactyly at Elwick last weekend when stewards said that he allowed the mare to shift in shortly after the start when insufficiently clear of Royal Classic who was checked and, in turn, hampered Jettadan.
Stewards found that the interference and degree of culpability were both ``of a medium level'' and suspended Yetimova from midnight this Sunday until midnight October 13.
Sunday's eight-race meeting will be the second-last at Devonport before a two-month break.