Star gallopers Newhart and Deroche will remain in Tasmania for the summer carnival rather than campaign in Victoria.
Newhart will chase a second successive win in the Devonport Cup and Deroche will chase the feature mares' double that so narrowly eluded her last season.
Managing owner Denise Martin said a trip to Victoria had been considered but uncertainty over the COVID-19 situation had swayed connections' thinking.
"We originally thought that we might get both Deroche and Newhart ready to race in Melbourne by the end of August," she said.
"But six weeks ago we didn't know what the situation would be now so we decided to stay home."
Martin said that trainer Leanne Gaffney had a number of horses heading towards the Devonport Cup "and Newhart is certainly one of them.
"We brought him back at the start of June and he had two months' work and a trial before we turned him out again," she said.
"He's been back in training since the start of the month."
The Star Thoroughbreds' boss said that Newhart was not bred to run the distance of the Hobart and Launceston cups "but horses defy their breeding all the time".
"He's bred to be a sprinter miler but Craig (Newitt) has always said he thought the horse would get at least 2000m," she said..
"We didn't persevere last season because, mentally, he was still a baby and we didn't want to bring him undone but they get better all the time."
Martin hopes Newhart won't be her only Devonport Cup contender.
"I'm not sure that Cabarrus won't be a prospect as well - he's heading in the right direction," she said.
Cabarrus has won his past three starts, each time with Bulent Muhcu in the saddle.
"Bulent seems to have found the best in the horse and he's now showing the ability we tentatively always thought was there," Martin said.
"He's a big, tall horse that needs a strong rider and you don't mess with Bulent."
UP WIND TO CONFIRM CUP CREDENTIALS
Leanne Gaffney will saddle up another Devonport Cup prospect at Spreyton on Sunday.
And, although Martin has no connection with the horse, she believes he could be a serious rival to her cup runners.
"Up Wind is a very nice horse - he ran fourth in the Derby and looks talented," she said.
The Derby probably came up too quickly for Up Wind, who had won his maiden only two starts earlier, but he ran well to finish only 2-1/4 lengths from the winner.
He has won two of his four starts since a spell, both over 1350m.
At his latest appearance, he was slow to begin and gave away too big a start when fourth to Skip Town Mike over 1650m a fortnight ago.
Up Wind steps up to 1880m in this week's Benchmark 64 Handicap and, although burdened with 60kg after Kyle Maskiell's claim, looks one of the better bets on the program.
Gaffney's three other runners at the meeting, Barbie's Witness, Kwai and Assaranca, also look to have strong chances.
IGNATIUS BACK BUT BURN BETTER VALUE
Ignatius will be the star attraction at the Mowbray harness meeting on Sunday night when he lines up for his first Tasmanian start since January 2018.
However he's quoted at $1.35 in the early market on the Free-For-All so most punters will be looking to other races for better value.
His stablemate Feel The Burn looks a better punting prospect in the Rating 56-65 and, despite a wide draw, Courageous Katee appeals on an each-way basis in the Rating 66-75.
Feel The Burn has performed consistently since joining the Todd Rattray stable from Sydney and looks well placed in a race restricted to mares.
She was beaten only 8.8m behind Ryley Major in an open-class discretionary four starts ago before a win and two good seconds.
Her last run, when $3.30 favourite, was a hard watch for punters as, after drawing inside the second row, she got shuffled back into a terrible position and never got clear until the race was virtually over.
Courageous Katee had no luck when sixth to Lip Reader at the same meeting, caught three wide for a lap before finding the death..
Her previous run was a good second to Lip Reader in a Rating 70-84 which reads well for this week's lower class race.