Longford trainer John Blacker will have a career-high four runners in Wednesday’s $100,000 Devonport Cup and believes one of the outsiders is his best chance.
Blacker will saddle up local horses Beaufort Lad, Zatacla and Settler’s Stone alongside former Sydney stayer Quick Defence.
“I think they will all run well but, if I had to have a pick, it would be Quick Defence – I just like the way he is going,” the trainer said.
Quick Defence, previously trained by Chris Waller, is quoted at $19 in the latest Sportsbet market.
Blacker races the gelding with eight Tasmanian partners after buying him in July for $50,000. Less than two weeks later he picked up a race worth $53,000 to the winner at Rosehill.
Quick Defence ran well at his first Tasmanian start in the Conquering Stakes but fell out of Devonport Cup favour after a poor run in Hobart which Blacker is prepared to overlook.
“He got a bit excited before the race last time, played up in the barriers and may have hit his head on the stalls,” the trainer said.
“His work since has been good. We took him down to Devonport on Saturday for a look at the track and (jockey) Daniel Ganderton said he felt good.”
Blacker said that both Beaufort Lad and Zatacla were “going well and drawn to get the right run” while Settler’s Stone was not entitled to be a $91 chance.
Second favourite Toorak Affair has been scratched due to lameness, putting first emergency Kanji into the field.