Kembla Grange trainer Luke Price quickly overcame the disappointment of drawing the outside gate with Noble Joey when he saw the stablemate Budderoo Knight in gate nine for the $400,000 Provincial Championships Final at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Noble Joey took out the first heat of the series at Wyong for Luke and Robert Price, leading all-the-way, while Budderoo Knight was runner-up in the Hawkesbury heat and neither have been seen since.
Left: Noble Joey (Kathy O'Hara) - set to make a big impression in Saturday's Provincial Championships Final. Image by - Steve Hart Photographics
“We wanted to get into this race fresh with both of them. They had a jump out last week and are ready to run big races,” Price said. “I have to say I thought Noble Joey was our best chance in the race, particularly with the track going to be wet. I always thought he'd win a big race.
“He has been targeted at this race since last year, so it would be good to pull it off. He has performed before on a Randwick heavy, which is a good sign for Saturday and we aren’t going to ride any different from the wide gate. He has to push forward and the way the track has been racing it might be in the right place to be.”
Price believes the barrier gives Budderoo Knight the chance to have the run of the race: “He is a horse that we thought was worth giving a chance at this level and he has got to the final and from the gate he is going to get a soft run,” Price said. “He will handle the track and is not the worst in the race.”
The Prices’s pair of runners is part of a group of half dozen from Kembla in the Provincial Championships, including favourite is Pomelo.