Rich rewards on offer  in  harness  double-header

GOOD stakemoney will be on offer at both ends of the state in a harness racing double-header over the Australia Day long weekend.

At New Norfolk on Sunday, a competitive field will line up in the $7500 Norske Skog Cup, a standing-start race for C4 or better pacers.

At Devonport on Monday night, the mares take centre stage in the $10,000 Tasracing Leigh Plunkett and the free-for-allers step out in the $10,000 Adam Brooks Group City Of Devonport Quality.

New Norfolk has a 10-event program as Tasracing continues its policy of highlighting country venues in the prime Sunday timeslot with Sky 1 coverage.

Last Sunday's twilight meeting at Burnie attracted a big crowd.

Talented young Launceston reinsman Mark Yole, who recently returned from a short stint in Victoria, has picked up a good drive on Run Ripalong in the New Norfolk Cup.

The Zeke Slater-trained gelding has been racing well in good company.

Five starts ago, he was placed behind topliners Our Chain Of Command and Ransom Olds in a Hobart free-for-all, and, at his most recent appearance, he ran fifth to Spot Nine in the $20,000 Hobart Cup.

His main danger could be polemarker Put Mback, whose driver, Gareth Rattray, is coming off a five-win haul at Burnie.

The Leigh Plunkett at Devonport is for C1 to C3 class mares and has attracted an even field.

It's a similar story with the City Of  Devonport Quality, where the two highest-rated runners, Western Mail (M5) and Slick Bromac (M3), have to come off the second row.

The value runner could be  the Steve Davis-trained polemarker Modern Ruler, whose 12 starts on the Devonport track have netted four wins and six placings.

The gelding goes well in front and, if he can hold the lead, could be hard to get around over the short 1930m journey.

Mark Yole

Mark Yole