The Devonport Cup is expected to draw one of its biggest ever crowds on January 10 as the Devonport Racing Club celebrates its 100th Cup meeting at the Luxbet All Weather Devonport track.
Club chairman Barry Milton said that the usual crowd of around 5000 racegoers could swell beyond that and additional marquee space has been allocated in anticipation.
“This is by far the best viewing track in the State and our tiered marquee area at the southern end of the racecourse takes advantage of that,” he said.
“We’ve also commissioned a mural for one of the buildings to mark our centenary and the design is spectacular - everyone will be able to admire that on Cup day.”
Yesterday there were 11 final acceptors for the Devonport Cup with Victorian-trained Royal Request the top weight on 59kg.
Royal Request has won more than $550,000 in stakemoney with his biggest win in last season's $200,000 Darwin Cup.
Geegees Goldengirl, who won the Devonport Cup two years ago, and Gee Gees Top Notch, winner of the $100,000 Tasmanian Stakes at Mowbray last month, are the highest-weighted local runners on 57.5kg.
Other leading local contenders include Geegees Baritone and Killin Falls, who have won the past two Sheffield Cups, and Vandermeer, winner of last Monday's Longford Cup.
The cup is race 9 on a 10-event programme and starts at 5.24pm.
The field usually attracts interstate horses trying to secure the major prizemoney - a bid that was unsuccessful last year with the local John Blacker-trained Powercharged taking out the $100,000 race.
And while there’s plenty of action on the State’s only synthetic track, there’s always plenty of fun and games going on trackside. Back by popular demand will be Robert “Dipper” DiPierdomenico and another special guest, Victorian jockey Harry Coffey, who continues to race despite a struggle with cystic fibrosis.
Coffey could well pick up a ride at the meeting but his main aim, along will Dipper, will be to speak at the preview cocktail evening.
This event is where the current Devonport Cup Ambassador Taylor Stevenson of Latrobe will hand over her title to a new recipient.
Another fun lead-up event is the Calcutta, with each horse in the Cup field auctioned off at the Birdcage Tavern on Sunday, January 7 at 1pm.
And golfers, Devonport Racing Club members and friends can also take part in the Thirlstane Golf Club Devonport Cup competition on Monday, January 8 at 10am arrival for a 10.30 start.
Entry to the Cup is $30 adults, $25 concession, kids 16 and under free.