Kembla Grange trainer Paul Murray naturally wants to win $150,000 races but when it is the Bede Murray Provincial Championship, it means that bit more.
Murray will have to travel Direct Strategy down the highway to Goulburn after Thursday’s meeting was shifted from his home track because of the wet track.
“I was always aiming him at this race but when they told us that it was named after Dad, it makes it more special,” Murray said. “He didn’t have much luck in the heat at Hawkesbury and probably needs it closer to soft than heavy. It was a funny race at Hawkesbury and he did great job to finish as close as he did.”
Left: Bede Murray - today's Provincial Championships Qualifier is named after him. Image by - Bradley Photographers
Bede Murray trained the first winner of the Provincial Championship Sure And Fast and he and Paul had run the Kembla stable together for many years. Bede died after a battle with cancer last year.
Direct Strategy won at Wagga and Moruya to start this preparation before a fourth to Machine Jubs at Canterbury and a fifth at Hawkesbury.
Murray is hoping to join partner Michelle Ritchie, who has qualified Better Not Blue, with a runner in the Provincial Championship at Randwick on April 8.
“He is the only one I have for the series this year and if he doesn’t get in on Thursday I will probably look to go to Newcastle next week,” Murray said. “It was good for Michelle to get her horse into the final and it would be great if we can both have runners.”
It is wide open betting affair with Knit ‘n’ Purl. ($4.60), Louie Sea Kay ($5.50) and Ziganui ($8) the only runners under $10 with TAB fixed odds.