TASMANIAN-OWNED and bred pacer Devendra has rocketed up the betting charts to be second favourite for the $1.3 million Inter-Dominion final in Perth next Sunday.
Before the two-week series started, Devendra was quoted at $81 to win the final. He is now $4.50 with online bookmaker tab老域名备案老域名 and $4.80 with rival firm Sportsbet.
Trained in Sydney by former Tasmanian James Rattray, Devendra recorded his second heat win at Gloucester Park on Friday night in a sensational last-to-first performance.
Rattray allowed Devendra to settle at the rear of the field from his wide barrier and stayed there until the field approached the final turn.
He then pulled Devendra to the outside of the track and the six-year-old scorched home to score by almost two metres in a mile-rate of 1:57.3 for the 2536 metres.
Devendra also won his opening-round heat at Gloucester Park before finishing fifth in the second round at Bunbury when he had a torrid run after making an unsuccessful bid for the early lead.
The driver who refused to hand up the lead to Devendra in his Bunbury heat was taken to task by the stewards over his tactics after his own horse weakened to finish last.
Devendra finished the preliminary rounds as the third-highest points-scorer behind Victorians Lennytheshark and Philadelphia Man.
James Rattray is chasing his third successive Inter-Dominion final, having won the past two runnings of Australia’s premier harness racing event with Tasmanian star Beautide.
Beautide earned $425,000 for each of his wins but, with a major increase in prizemoney for the Perth series, Devendra will be chasing a winner’s cheque of $780,000.
It is the richest Inter-Dominion since 2006 when the Betfair-funded Tasmanian final carried total stakemoney of $1.5 million and winner Blacks A Fake earned $900,000.
Leading points scorers –
39 Lennytheshark, Philadelphia Man; 34 Devendra; 32 Lovers Delight; 27 Avonnova; 26 My Hard Copy, Waylade; 22 Flaming Flutter, Our Blackbird; 21 Libertybelle Midfrew.
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