Wesley Vale trainer Glenn Stevenson looks set to play a strong hand in the coming all-weather sprint and distance finals at Devonport (August 27) after his charge I’m Wesley scored a dominant win in the sprint prelude (1000m) at that track last Sunday.
The I Am Invincible gelding crossed from a middle draw to hold the rail under Raquel Clark, then shared the pace with last-start winner Underplay before giving his rivals the slip on straightening and careering away for a simple 4¼-length victory.
I’m Wesley has now won five of his eight starts at Devonport and placed on another two occasions.
Stevenson will saddle up his highly promising charge Killin Falls in this week’s distance prelude (1650m), where his main rivals look to be last season’s Devonport Cup winner, Powercharged, and last season’s distance final winner, Siorca.
Killin Falls defeated both those gallopers at their previous clash over 1350 metres but is yet to prove himself over the longer trip.
Top hoop Brendon McCoull had to forgo his mounts at Devonport for the second consecutive week due to illness and that proved costly, with four of those bookings emerging victorious.
The major beneficiary was Daniel Ganderton, who took the day’s opener, an open-age maiden plate over 900 metres, aboard the team Wells-trained Gee Gees Cricket, who enjoyed a nice trail just off the pace.
The win was the first leg of a double for Ganderton, who took the Class 1 handicap over 1150 metres on the Barry Campbell-trained Duperrey, who remains unbeaten after two appearances.
Troy Baker picked up the winning ride on the Chris Crook and Imogen Miller-trained Trophy Legs, who finally broke her duck at start number 15 in the open-age maiden plate over 1350 metres.
Shuji Amano took the reins on the Alana Fulton-trained Sugar Free, who came from midfield to take the maiden/Class 1 plate over 1650 metres.
The ex-Victorian Gonski mare had put the writing on the wall when hitting the line hard at the end of 1350 metres at her previous outing.
Anthony Darmanin was the other beneficiary of McCoull’s absence, leading throughout aboard the Adam Trinder-trained Kyogle Son, who completed a hat-trick of wins in the benchmark 62 handicap over 1150 metres.
The win was the first leg of a double for Trinder and Darmanin, who also took the last, a benchmark 68 handicap over 1880 metres, with Bidirectional.
Trinder has notched five wins from the past two meetings at his home base.