Fresh from taking his second Tasmanian jockeys premiership, leading hoop Craig Newitt began the new season on a high by bookending last Sunday’s meeting on the Devonport synthetic.
His first win came via Bill Ryan’s promising mare Speedonova, who took the benchmark 70 handicap over 1350 metres after enjoying a good trail just off the pace.
It was the second win from as many outings this prep for the lightly raced five-year-old daughter of Tough Speed and her fifth overall from just nine appearances.
Newitt completed his brace of wins aboard the Barry Baker-trained Cimarron’s Hero, who proved too strong for his Class 2 rivals over 1000 metres after enjoying a good trail one-out, one-back at his first run back from a break.
Victorian apprentice Stephanie Thornton made a successful raid to share riding honours with Newitt.
She combined with training partners Chris Crook and Imogen Miller for both her wins, kicking off with recent stable addition Life of Waldo, who proved too strong at his Tasmanian debut in the Class 2 handicap over 1350 metres.
Thornton, Crook and Miller had to be content to share the prize in the benchmark 64 handicap over 1650 metres, Magwitch hitting the line locked together with the Kelvin Southey-trained Robbo the Bold.
The Devonport photo finish, which has had its problems at recent meetings, was again under scrutiny with a mirror image of the print unavailable.
Elsewhere on the card Stuart Gandy’s smart sprinter Gee Gees Jet resumed from a break with an all-the-way win in the benchmark 84 handicap over 1000 metres.
The Wordsmith gelding has now won 11 of his 30 appearances and is unbeaten from two tries at Devonport.
He was well in at the weights on Sunday carrying just 55.5kg after apprentice Breaana Smith’s four-kilo claim.