Tasmania's new chief thoroughbred steward is expected to be announced soon.
The successful applicant will take over from Scott Quill who left on July 9 to take up a position in Victoria.
There has been plenty of speculation on social media about his likely replacement, with at least three senior interstate stewards and/or administrators 'tipped' to be in the running.
The latest name being thrown up by the rumour mill is Ross Neal.
Neal has been the chief executive of Harness Racing South Australia for the past three years but it was announced earlier this week that he had resigned.
His CV suggests he has the right credentials for the Tasmanian job which was advertised at a annual salary of $96,100 to $108,800.
When he was appointed to his current position, HRSA put out a statement saying that Neal had "a wealth of experience, both in harness racing - having been a trainer, driver, club administrator and steward - and externally in senior management."
Neal was previously co-chief steward for the Racing Integrity Unit in New Zealand.
HRSA's statement said that Neal would be leaving his current employment on November 10.
The Office Of Racing Integrity was contacted regarding the rumoured appointment.
Acting Racing Director Tony Latham said: "At this stage I can't comment, as no contract has been signed as yet."
The 2020-21 thoroughbred horse of the year awards will be announced at a dinner in Launceston on September 10.
Turk Warrior is the only cut and dried winner in the two-year-old category and is also likely to poll votes in the overall horse of the year section.
He was unbeaten in six starts including five feature races.
The three-year-old award is more interesting with War Correspondent, Hela and Swoop Dog all having claims after outstanding seasons.
War Correspondent won the 3YO Cup, Carbine Club Trophy, 3YO Classic and a $135,000 race at Moonee Valley.
Hela was unbeaten in seven Tasmanian starts including the Strutt Stakes and Thousand Guineas.
And, Swoop Dog won the Tasmanian and Launceston Guineas and was placed in the Tasmanian Derby and the WFA Mowbray Stakes.
The best-performed older horses included Newhart who won three successive feature races in the Devonport Cup, Thomas Lyons and Mowbray Stakes.
Still A Star raced only four times for wins in the Vamos Stakes and the listed $140,000 Anniversary Vase at Caulfield and ran second in the group 3 Victoria Handicap.
Mystic Journey won the group 2 Stocks Stakes - the only Tasmanian horse to score at that level - and was beaten only 1-1/4 lengths in the group 1 Empire Rose.
Despite the strong credentials of many of the two-year-old winners over the years, none has ever been overall horse of the year.
The only three-year-olds to win the open category have been Dream Quest and Mystic Journey.
The awards are decided by the votes of an 11-person panel comprising: one representative from each of the three clubs; the Thoroughbred Advisory Network chairman; four representatives of Tasracing (chairman, code director, code lead and content producer); and three members of the media.
There are no official nominations - the judges can vote for any horse in any category.
It will be the smallest thoroughbred meeting for some time at Spreyton on Sunday with only 67 acceptors for the eight races.
Last year's joint horse of the year The Inevitable heads a small lineup for the Open Handicap (1350m) and, hopefully, will take his place in the field..
His presence would add some much-needed interest to the meeting.
The in-form Erica Byrne Burke is down to ride the six-year-old and her claim will reduce his weight to a manageable 61kg.
The Inevitable has never raced on a synthetic track and hasn't raced in his home state since winning the Tasmanian Guineas in January 2019.
Byrne Burke is a runaway leader of this season's jockeys' premiership with eight wins at the first four meetings.
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