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Punters on top as Devonport prepares for a spell

Punters will be hoping to continue their love affair with the Devonport synthetic track this Sunday when the Devonport Racing club hosts its fifth consecutive meeting.

From the meetings over the past four Sunday's, 34 races have been run with only two winners starting at better than double figure odds. Ironically that was the same horse, the John Blacker-trained Alpine Blast who started $21 when he won on 28 August and $12 when successful a fortnight ago. The 4YO will line up again this week trying to complete the hat-trick but certainly won't be long odds again.

Aside from Alpine Blast, the other 32 winners over that period have ranged in starting price from $1.50 to $8.50 with the average price being $4.50.

Longford hobby trainer Barry Baker is taking just one horse to Devonport on Sunday but looks a great chance to make it a wining trip.

Baker will saddle up Belpine Miss in the Kevin Sharkie maiden over 5 f. Belpine Miss put in an eye-catching run in Devonport a fortnight ago when she was trapped wide throughout after jumping from barrier 11 but never gave up and was beaten only 3.4 lengths in the 5 3⁄4 f event.

"I think she has come on well from her first up run, I am a little concerned that she is coming back to 5 f and she's going to have to be pretty sharp, but I think she will run a very forward race and be very competitive.

"She's drawn a good gate and hopefully she can 'possie' up and almost get the run of the race," Baker said.

Belpine Miss will be ridden by Baker's daughter Chelsea who has made a flying start to her riding career. The young apprentice made her debut in February, rode her first winner in March, and finished the season ninth on the jockeys' premiership table with 29 wins at the impressive strike rate of 17.6%.

"She's going great guns, she's really dedicated which is a big help, she's riding really well and getting a lot of support from outside trainers," said Barry Baker.

Chelsea currently sits equal third on the Jockeys table for the current season with five winners from 44 rides. She has seven mounts on Sunday and could well add to her winning tally.

Colin's Best Bets

My best bets are early in the program, Michbar who resumes in the first race has started nine times at the track for four wins and three placings and comes off an impressive trial win.

In race two I like Belpine Miss who put up a strong performance from a wide barrier last time and with an ounce of luck should get a much softer run from a better draw as her trainer outlined.

Fife and Drum will never get a better chance to win again than he will in the fourth of the day. Since transferring to Barry Campbell, Fife And Drum has had five runs for a win and three placings. He is one of only two horses in Sunday's event to have won and from the inside gate should get the run of the race.

The first of nine races begins at 12.05 and you can watch all events on TasracingTV and Sky Racing 1.

While Devonport will take a well-earned break after Sunday, the night racing season kicks off on Wednesday 5 October in Launceston.


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