The Australian Drivers Championship returns to Tasmania for only the third time on Saturday night but the timing of the series has ruled out two previous winners.
Victoria's premier driver Chris Alford, who the title in Hobart in 2017, and Queensland's No. 1 reinsman Grant Dixon, who won in Launceston in 2015, have both had to turn down invitations to return.
Alford made his intentions known early because of commitments in several major races at Melton on Saturday night and was not nominated by his state.
Dixon was nominated but then withdrew when he decided to run his stable star Colt Thirty One in the $75,000 4&5YO Championship at Melton.
Despite their absence, there is still a star-studded lineup of drivers competing in Hobart including two other past winners Todd McCarthy (NSW) and Pete McMullen (Queensland).
The ADC was introduced in its current format - two drivers from each state contesting multiple heats - in 2014 and has alternated between South Australia and Tasmania.
There are seven heats this year and, if it's a favourite's night, Western Australia's Ryan Warwick could be taking home the title.
The heats at a glance -
HEAT 1: Ryan Warwick could draw first blood for WA if he gets any luck on the Todd Rattray-trained Wandary Muscat. The money came for this former Queenslander at his fifth Tasmanian start and, after facing the breeze, he just failed to catch the in-form Rocket Blaster.
HEAT 2: Looks a match between Sheza Bettormak for Gary Hall Jnr (WA) and Cool Water Paddy to be driven by Victoria's Darby McGuigan. Sheza Bettormak has the draw to be hard to catch but Cool Water Paddy is a rising star and might be too strong if the breaks go his way.
HEAT 3: Queenslander Pete McMullen has the task of overcoming a tricky second-row draw on Awayandrideyourself but he'll be a short-priced favourite and, provided nothing goes wrong, he should bring up his fifth straight win for trainer Rohan Hillier.
HEAT 4: A good draw in a moderate field gives Ryan Warwick (WA) a chance to bring up his second heat win on The Thug. The former Victorian hasn't won since coming to Tasmania and has cost punters plenty but is drawn to lead so may be worth one more chance.
HEAT 5: Ryan Warwick (WA) has come up with another good drive on Similan Beach who chases his fifth straight win for the almost unstoppable Marc Butler stable. However he has not drawn well and the field has plenty of depth so beware of short odds.
HEAT 6: This could be the best chance for Tasmania to win a heat with Ricky Duggan on Blossom Grant and Mark Yole on El Jays Blu. Both are resuming but are lightly-raced and look to have more upside than some of their rivals. Both look good each-way chances.
HEAT 7: Vouvray Beach for Pete McMullen (Qld) has been freshened and is one to beat if right. However McMullen's sister Narissa could upset the apple cart on Pink Ponder while My Ultimate Romeo (Ricky Duggan) and The Shallows (Ken Rogers, SA) also look major players.
Richmond premiership player Jack Riewoldt will compete in a double-seater sulky race during the meeting.
TASBRED GALLOPER CONTINUES TO RISE
South Australian-based four-year-old Kemalpasa could be the next Tasmanian-bred horse to win a group 1 race.
The Richard and Chantelle Jolly-trained four-year-old stepped up to group 2 level to win the TAB Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day.
Known as the Linlithgow Stakes until 1996, the list of previous winners reads like a who's who of Australian sprinters including Vain, Placid Ark, Mahogany, and Choisir.
Kemalpasa, who has won eight of his past 11 starts, may not reach those heights but Richard Jolly says he is still on the up.
"He's been a revelation this year," Jolly said after the Flemington victory.
"He's a highly strung horse but he knows how to win - he's got that determination."
Kemalpasa, by Magnus, was bred by Jenny and Geoff Watson of Macleay Thoroughbreds just outside of Launceston.
He sold for $140,000 at the 2017 Gold Coast Magic Millions sale and is raced by multi-millionaire Queensland owner Neville Morgan (also the sole owner of $7.5 million Golden Eagle winner Kolding).