TOP bookmaker Nick Whelan expects North-West punters to throw their support behind big-race specialist Craig Newitt in Wednesday's $100,000 Devonport Cup.
Newitt is aiming for his fifth Devonport Cup after accepting the mount on lightly-raced stayer Royal Rapture.
Whelan has Royal Rapture the $4 second favourite behind topweight Jakcorijim ($3.50) and believes the four-year-old could be the number one pick by Wednesday.
``Traditionally Craig comes right about Devonport Cup time and he deserves a bit of a change of luck after some near misses leading up to the Christmas break,'' Whelan said.
Whelan said Jakcorijim and Royal Rapture had been the two horses to emerge from the Sheffield Cup run on Boxing Day.
``Royal Rapture has got there pretty quick but Im expecting Craig to give him the gun run,'' he said.
With some doubt over Royal Rapture running out the 1880-metre distance of the Devonport Cup Whelan was quick to point out Newitt's effort aboard 2010 winner With Decorum.
``With Decorum's best distance was probably 1600m but `Froggy' had her so well-placed he only had to sprint for 150 metres,'' he said.
Last year's runner-up Lightly Spiced will be ridden by Stephen Maskiell and is $9 in early betting while bottom weight Come Follow Me is $17.
A final field of 14 runners was declared yesterday with Cranbourne-trained Langridge Street the only interstater after Pearcedale trainer Doug Harrison decided not to accept with Alrouz.