Darwin Cup winner looking to repeat success in Devonport Cup

CUP TRAIL: Vandermeer, ridden by Teagan Voorham, wins Monday's Longford Cup. He  has been allocated the minimum 54kg in next week's $100,000 Devonport Cup. Picture: Greg Mansfield
CUP TRAIL: Vandermeer, ridden by Teagan Voorham, wins Monday's Longford Cup. He has been allocated the minimum 54kg in next week's $100,000 Devonport Cup. Picture: Greg Mansfield

Darwin Cup winner Royal Request heads the weights for next Wednesday’s $100,000 Devonport Cup at Spreyton and is a near-certain starter if suitable transport can be arranged.

Royal Request is trained at Kyneton by Neil Dyer who is keen to have his first Tasmanian runner.

“I have been in contact with a transport operator and we worked out a time that he may be able to leave on Sunday,” Dyer said.

“The alternative would be to come on Monday which I’m not so keen on. I’m waiting for them to get back to me before I make a final decision.

“If it all comes together, there’s a good chance he’ll be there.”

Although based in Victoria, Royal Request has had most of his success at the Northern Territory winter carnival.

He won the $135,000 Northern Territory Derby in 2014 and has finished second, fourth and first in the past three runnings of the $200,000 Darwin Cup.

The seven-year-old has also won two races at Morphettville and his overall record of 12 wins and $552,000 in stakes has earned him cup topweight of 59kg.

Classy mares Gee Gees Top Notch and Geegees Goldengirl, the 2016 winner, both have 57.5kg while Killin Falls and Geegees Baritone, the past two Sheffield Cup winners, have 56kg.

The remaining eight entries, including Monday’s Longford Cup winner Vandermeer, are on 54kg.

SPEEDING AHEAD

After dead-heating for first in Monday’s St Marys Cup, consistent pacer Full Speed Ahead will be looking for an outright victory when the country harness racing spotlight moves to Scottsdale on Friday night.

The Todd Rattray-trained gelding has drawn barrier four in the $12,000 North Eastern Pacing Cup, a standing start race over 2692 metres.

The horse that shared the St Marys spoils, Solid As A Rock, is not in the field.

Full Speed Ahead has won four of his 10 starts since joining Rattray from Queensland where he won one race. His previous five victories were in New Zealand.

FIELDTimely Sovereign, Laughyaheadoff, Rocknrollhighlight, Full Speed Ahead, Paint The Wind, Dodgermemate, Hez The One fr; Mavis Merle, Sheer Strength (em) 10m; Chief Destroyer 20m; Black Centurian 30m.

ROCKING UP

A star-studded lineup of greyhounds, including the past two Hobart Thousand winners, will contest the 2018 Devonport Cup.

Rock Up Top won Tasmania’s only group 1 race last month and Zipping Bruiser won the 2016 edition.

They are among seven interstate entries for the race which has eight heats next Tuesday and a final on January 16. A total of 71 dogs were nominated.