Tough card in Devonport on Sunday

Racing returns to Devonport on Sunday for the first time since Ladbrokes Devonport Cup day with an eight-race card that could deliver some surprise results.

In Brief

  • Expect open betting on eight-race card in Devonport.
  • Lesnar expected to atone for race lost on protest last start.
  • Azara faces tough test.

The opening race is a maiden over 6 3⁄4 f with the Yassy Nishitani-trained Always A Winner likely to start favourite based on the three-year-old's exposed form.

The gelded son of The Factor has been placed at each of his four starts, the latest a second to Bold Magic over 7 f in Launceston early last month.

Nishitani gave the gelding a hit-out at the Longford trials on Tuesday and he was not pushed out to finish third and a couple of lengths from the winner Under His Eye.

High Maintenance, a newcomer to Glenn Stevenson's stable, made an impact at his first start in the state when a fast finishing second to promising filly Essex in Launceston over 7 f on Good Friday.

"I am pleased with How High Maintenance has worked since his first-up run for the stable and provided he handles the synthetic he should be very competitive," Stevenson said.

"He'll get back from the wide gate but it's only a small field and that should be an advantage."

Stevenson also expects his gallant grey Lesnar to atone for having lost his most recent outing on protest.

Lesnar was first past the post in a benchmark 66 handicap (1400m) but was relegated to second after Brendon McCoull aboard Take the Sit, claimed his horse suffered interference over the concluding stages.

"I would think Lesnar is my best winning chance and that would be justice after losing the race in Launceston on protest."

The last event is a tricky affair with unbeaten three-year-old filly Azara taking on the older horses as she prepares for the $50,000 3YO Tasbred Classic over 7 f in Hobart on 2 May.

Azara has won two from two and has been impressive at each start on the turf in Launceston but she is trained in Devonport by Leanne Gaffney, so the synthetic won't be alien to the daughter of Squamosa.

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