Comeback pacer Ryley Major appears to have drawn the right barrier to land the biggest win of his injury-plagued career in the $75,000 Easter Cup at Mowbray on Saturday night.
The Rohan Hillier-trained gelding has drawn inside the 10m line and will start directly behind polemarker The Aussie who has a great record in standing starts.
If he begins as well as he did in his heat, there's a chance Ryley Major will get a good run through early, settle on the pace and give Hillier a chance to dictate the race.
But, standing starts are notorious for their uncertainty and the field is one of the most competitive in recent years, with at least six strong winning chances.
Heat winners Franco Tristan and Illegal Immigrant, last year's winner Harjeet, former Tasmanian Derby winner Scooterwillrev and Tasmania Cup runner-up War Dan all have the ability to win with the right run.
The final field (in barrier order) is: 1 The Aussie, 2 All Style Sammy, 3 Karalta Dazzler, 4 Northview Dave (em), 5 Perfect Mach, 6 Inner Light, 7 Blackbird Power, 8 Max Richter fr; 9 Ryley Major, 10 Franco Tristan, 11 Riverboat Jasper, 12 Scooterwillrev, 13 Illegal Immigant, 14 War Dan 10m; 15 Harjeet 30m.
NEEDS TO STAY
Armidale Stud has resisted interstate offers for boom sire Needs Further and he will stand in Tasmania again this season.
Needs Further shot to national prominence when his daughter Mystic Journey won the group 1 Australian Guineas and $5 million All-Star Mile.
On its Facebook page, Armidale said: "We're passionate about the Tasmanian industry and have decided, despite several approaches from interstate studs, that Needs Further will stay where he belongs."
The stallion's fee this season will be $12,500 while Armidale has kept Alpine Eagle's fee at $7000.
"Alpine Eagle's eagerly-awaited first foals have not disappointed and ooze quality and athleticism like their sire," the stud said.
Carrick harness trainer Michael Dornauf will appeal a nine-month positive swab disqualification.
The Dornauf-trained Jimmy De Panda tested positive to cobalt after winning at Mowbray on December 9.
Stewards disqualified Dornauf for six months on a presentation charge and nine months on an administering charge with the penalties to be served concurrently.
Pending the result of an appeal, his penalty expires on January 10 next year.
Dornauf has been involved in harness racing for about 40 years and has had no previous swab offences.