By Brad Gray
Princess Posh won the final heat of the Polytrack Provincial Championships qualifiers at Newcastle on Saturday, and with Kool Vinnie running third, that makes it six runners for Kris Lees in the $500,000 Final to be run at Royal Randwick on April 14.
Lees, who had seven runners engaged in the heat, trained four of the first five home, with the luckless Bon Amis the exception.
“It was a terrific effort from the winner. She was first up at probably her maximum distance and from a wide gate, so she got a perfect ride from Jeff (Penza). She was tough at the finish. I thought they had her measure there at the furlong but she kept finding,” Lees said.
“She’ll improve off that so is a live chance going into the final.
“She has just taken a little time to mature. She ran in the final last year but probably wasn’t ready. She qualified through a placing and had probably had enough come final day but we’ll see a different horse this year.”
Bon Amis was heavily backed to start $3.90 favourite with TAB but blew the start before being hunted up the fence only to be disappointed for a run in the straight. The consolation for trainer Jason Deamer takes from the race is that his four-year-old, who was bought for just $4000 off the internet, ticked the 1400m box.
“We’ve got that query out of the way. He probably should have won, that was pretty simple to see,” Deamer said.
“He got into a lovely spot after the awkward start and hit the line good but the other horse had the momentum.”
Princess Posh and Kool Vinnie join Lees’ runners Just Dreaming, Serene Miss, Tawfiq Boy and Bastia in the Final.
TAB reacted to the result by trimming Princess Posh in from $26 to $15 for the Provincial Championships Final while Bon Amis is now an $11 chance, having started the day at $26.