TASMANIAN pacer Devendra will be relying on a top performance in the final round of heats of the Inter Dominion series in Perth on Friday night to secure a berth in the $1.3 million final.
Devendra scraped into the series but made the most of the opportunity by leading throughout to win his opening round heat at Gloucester Park last Friday night but last night in his second round heat at Bunbury he was forced to race outside of the leader and tired to finish fifth.
With his trainer James Rattray in the sulky, the gelded son of Bettors Delight began brilliantly from barrier four but was unable to cross Mach Alert that refused to surrender the lead.
The pair matched motors for the best part of 400 metres and while Rattray almost wrested the lead his bid was in vain and he had to ease out of the contest and take a trail.
When the challengers appears he eased off the fence to face the breeze but the early speed dual had taken its toll and he was unable to sustain his run to the line but still managed to finish a game fifth.
It set the race up for Philadelphia Man (Gavin Lang) that swooped on the leaders in the home straight to win convincingly.
Another Victorian Lennytheshark won his heat to ensure a final berth and Holy Grail won the remaining heat last night to take his points tally to 20 so he will most likely need to at least place in his final round heat to make it to the final.
Devendra has accrued 20 points but he could need as many as 29 points to make it to the final.
The points scale awards 14 for first; 11 for second, nine for third, seven four fourth and six for fifth reducing by one through to last (1).
The final round of heats (x3) will be run at Gloucester Park in Perth on Friday night after which the top 10 point scorers from the three rounds will progress to the $1.3 million final on December 13.