The race was set to be a duel between Prescribe and the ultra-consistent Senor Slamma but, despite giving his main rival a four-length start, Prescribe proved too classy, overhauling Senor Slamma and clocking 25.33, the fastest time of the seven heats.
Senor Slamma will get every chance to redeem himself in next week’s $25,000-to-the-winner feature after scraping into the top eight as the fastest second placegetter.
Medhurst also qualified Dark Vito, a son of Collision and Carlita Bale, for the final. The black dog overcame box six and, despite racing wide for part of the trip, still clocked 25.37 over 452 metres. Dark Vito has now won his past five starts and nine from 18 overall.
Also clocking 25.37 en route to a heat success was Kelly Bravo’s Her Highness, which will be the only interstate-trained contender in the final. The regally-bred daughter of Bartrim Bale and Witch Fantasy started her career in Tasmania before making the move to Bravo’s kennels in November. Interestingly, each of her 11 wins has been back in the Apple Isle.
Pipstar scored a gallant win in the third heat, toughing it out up the straight to find the front after being headed by Minnie Mogul. If Pipstar was to win the Devonport Cup, she would give High Earner his fourth Group success as a sire since the start of December.
The former star sprinter has been well represented by his progeny lately with Lamia Bale (Group Three Sir John Dillon Memorial, Group Two Laurels Classic) and Star Recall (Group One Sale Cup) dominating in their respective assignments.
Gary Fahey will be represented by three finalists and, amazingly, they are all from the same litter. Breaker’s Tip was the first to salute, taking out heat one from box three in 25.58.
His brother, Bruny Venture, scored his 11th career win in the fifth heat, clocking 25.55. A third member of the Mogambo x Dennes Point litter, Rip And Tear, stepped out in the final qualifier, stopping the clock in a moderate 25.96.
The box draw for next Tuesday’s Group Three Devonport Cup is as follows:
Box One – Her Highness – Kelly Bravo
Box Two – Dark Vito – Ted Medhurst
Box Three – Pipstar – Robin Grubb
Box Four – Breaker’s Tip – Gary Fahey
Box Five – Prescribe – Ted Medhurst
Box Six – Bruny Venture – Gary Fahey
Box Seven – Rip and Tear – Gary Fahey
Box Eight – Senor Slamma – Gary Johnson