Day At The Track

Ryley Major heads $75,000 Easter Cup

04:38 AM 18 Apr 2019 NZST
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Ryley Major, harness racing
Ryley Major, with Rohan Hillier in the sulky, exercises in the water at Greens Beach in preparation for Saturday night's Easter Cup final at Mowbray
Stacey Lear Photo

Ryley Major has opened harness racing favourite for the $75,000 Easter Cup final at Mowbray on Saturday night but the market suggests he is only one of many chances.

When tab.com.au posted its first market on Wednesday afternoon, it had six horses at less than 10-1 but the early money came for one of the outsiders.

Polemarker The Aussie opened at $34 before shortening to $16.

Ryley Major ($3), Harjeet ($5) and War Dan ($7.50) remained firm while Franco Tristan ($4 to $4.20), Scooterwillrev ($5.50 to $6.50) and Illegal Immigrant ($10 to $11) were slight drifters.

Leading reinsman Ricky Duggan has given punters a lead as he chases his fourth win in the race.

Duggan is the regular driver of Inner Light but is sticking with the Craig Hayes-trained Scooterwillrev who he has driven only twice for two minor placings.

He believes the horse was in need of the run when third in the Launceston Mile which preceded a strong second to Franco Tristan in his Easter Cup heat.

"I know Craig is pretty happy with him and I think he's suited off 10m because he can follow out the front line," Duggan said.

Scooterwillrev missed the start badly when he was off the front in the Tasmania Cup three starts ago but his overall standing-start record is very good.

22-YEAR LEASE ON DEVONPORT VENUE

Tasracing has moved to reassure harness and greyhound participants following news that the Devonport Showgrounds will be sold.

New chief executive Paul Eriksson said in a statement that "while Tasracing is keen to work with the new owners going forward, our position is that we hold the lease to the site for a further 22 years.

"We note statements by the Devonport Agricultural and Pastoral Society that nothing will change in the first instance other than the ownership of the site and that consultation with stakeholders will commence regarding future use," he said.

"The need to protect and support the interests of North West Coast racing participants is paramount.

"Tasracing and the two Devonport race clubs hold 67 meetings annually at the showgrounds servicing more than 170 participants and generating about $1.85 million in race field fees that flow back to the racing industry.

"We want to assure our industry participants that Tasracing will continue to support racing on the North West Coast and will work to ensure that it is not adversely impacted by this decision."

By Greg Mansfield

Reprinted with permission of The Examiner

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