By Gary Harley
The 2017 Provincial Championships series kicks off at Wyong on Thursday where a capacity field of talented sprinters will attempt to qualify for the rich Final via the Wyong Qualifier. The first three placegetters on Thursday progress to the Final to be run during The Championships at Randwick on April 8.
South Coast four-year-old Noble Joey is a bold front runner with excellent recent form. Kathy O’Hara will ride Noble Joey for the father and son training partners Robert and Luke Price. O'Hara was aboard when the gelding was nailed on the line at a Randwick Saturday meeting on January 21.
Another South Coast galloper Better Not Blue placed in the 2016 Wyong Qualifier resumes from a spell on the back of two recent trials. He was placed in the Civic Stakes in July and is expected to run well. Local hope Another Aan is very promising and he resumes after chasing home group 1 sprinter Music Magnate in a recent trial.
RACE 1 (INSURANCE HOUSE 3YO MAIDEN, 1200M): Tsubame resumes here after two good trial performances and he will be hard to beat. The three-year-old's only two starts in August – September were in quality metropolitan Maidens. He showed good speed when an easy Warwick Farm trial winner on January 23. Playbook is on debut after a nice Randwick trial and Dominant Crown ran into a smart one when placed at Newcastle on debut recently. SELECTIONS: 3 TSUBAME, 6 PLAYBOOK, 1 DOMINANT CROWN
RACE 2 (DIGGA 2YO MAIDEN PLATE, 1300M): The Mission was short of a run when run down by a smart one at Newcastle first up. He was close up when fourth behind Veranillo at Rosehill in the spring and he will be ready second up. The Man wasn’t far away when on the placegetters' heels at his only start at Randwick recently. Coulthard last trial effort gives him a chance. SELECTIONS: 9 THE MISSION, 8 THE MAN, 3 COULTHARD
RACE 3 (BRIAN HILTON KIA MAIDEN, 1000M): Seeblume’s only start was at Rosehill in September when she was only beaten two lengths by Spright. The filly has had two trials and she was given a quiet trial at Randwick recently. She has the advantage of the rails barrier. American Moments was an easy trial winner at Gosford recently and she has a soft draw on debut. Thistledo missed the start when a short priced favourite and fourth on debut at Hawkesbury earlier this month. SELECTIONS: 4 SEEBLUME, 8 AMERICAN MOMENTS, 3 THISTLEDO
RACE 4 (PFERD METRO & PROVINCIAL MAIDEN, 1350m): It’s So Obvious has been runner up in her only two starts at Gosford and Newcastle. She has good speed and deserves to break through. The mare will probably lead this field. Tutu comes to the provincials after finishing down the track in the Light Fingers. In her only other start she was narrowly beaten at Warwick Farm on December 28. Siren’s Fury resumes here but wasn’t far away at Warwick Farm and Newcastle last prep. SELECTIONS: 4 IT’S SO OBVIOUS, 9 TUTU, 7 SIREN’S FURY
RACE 5 (STRAMIT BUILDING PRODUCTS CLASS 2, 1350M): So Spirited is a progressive three-year-old which blitzed a strong Newcastle Maiden field last start. He put the writing on the wall with a strong finishing second first up on this track. McEvoy rides again and he will race on the pace. Caesar’s Ghost won well on this track last start and he can win again in this stronger field. Fly Forward is racing in good form on the South Coast where he bolted in last start. SELECTIONS: 7 SO SPIRITED, 4 CAESAR’S GHOST, 3 FLY FORWARD
RACE 6 (PRO ALI DESIGN CLASS 1, 1000M): Newcastle mare Clevedon Bay has been trialling exceptionally well in preparation for her first up run here. She has a good first up record and expect her to sit off the pace and be strong late. Back To Jacko hasn’t raced since July but he trialled okay behind Clevedon Bay recently. Saskia Rose bolted in here two starts back and she wasn’t disgraced when runner up on this track last meeting. SELECTIONS: 3 CLEVEDON BAY, 7 BACK TO JACKO, 9 SASKIA ROSE
RACE 7 (THE PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFIER, 1350M): Noble Joey has run into the smart Deploy in his past two starts in the city and he has performed admirably. He is a front runner with the best form in the race and he will be hard to run down. Better Not Blue had sound city form last prep and he has had two trials recently. Another Aan is promising and chased home Music Magnate in a recent trail. SELECTIONS: 1 NOBLE JOEY, 5 BETTER NOT BLUE, 11 ANOTHER AAN
RACE 8 (MILWAUKEE BENCHMARK 70, 1600M): Classic Records blew the opposition away when he stepped up to the 1600m for the first time here last meeting. He won’t be far off the pace and should go back to back. The Kiwi Night Voyage has had two starts in Australia and is going well enough to trouble these. Superbee was just beaten at Newcastle last start and he has a chance. SELECTIONS: 3 CLASSIC RECORDS, 1 NIGHT VOYAGE, 8 SUPERBEE
GARY HARLEY' S LATE MAIL RACE 1 3 TSUBAME – MASSIVE DROP IN CLASS. TRIALS OK 6 PLAYBOOK – 1ST START. TOP JOCK GOOD TRIAL 1 DOMINANT CROWN – RAN INTO SMART ONE LAST TIME 4 ISTRIA – PLACE
RACE 2 9 THE MISSION – FITTER & DROPS IN CLASS 8 THE MAN – WENT OK ONLY START 3 COULTHARD – 1ST START CHANCE ON TRIAL 6 MOMENTUM TO WIN – RANDWICK PLACED
RACE 3 4 SEEBLUME – CLOSE UP TOP FIELD ONLY START 8 AMERICAN MOMENTS – BOLTED IN WITH TRIAL 3 THISTLEDO – EXCUSES ONLY START 7 NYAH – NO LUCK LAST RUN
RACE 4 4 IT’S SO OBVIOUS – SPEEDY & IN FORM 9 TUTU – TICKS ALL BOXES. BIG PLAYER 7 SIRENS FURY – BOTH STARTS GOOD 8 SRETAN – PLACE
RACE 5 7 SO SPIRITED – IMPRESSIVE LAST START 4 CAESAR’S GHOST – LOVES THIS TRACK 3 FLY FORWARD – THIS TOUGHER BUT EASY WIN LAST START 2 ADATTO – RANDWICK WINNER LAST START
RACE 6 3 CLEVEDON BAY - FRESH FORM GOOD. FLYING IN TRIALS 7 BACK TO JACKO – TRIAL INDICATES READY 1ST UP 9 SASKIA ROSE – THIS IS HER TRACK 5 POSTMASTER GENERAL – SPEEDY AND HAS A CHANCE
RACE 7 1 NOBLE JOEY – METRO FORM HARD TO FAULT 5 BETTER NOT BLUE – CLASSY & GOES OK 1ST UP 11 ANOTHER AAN – PROMISING & SMART RECENT TRIAL 14 PRINCESS POSH – HASN’T PUT A FOOT WRONG THIS PREP
RACE 8 3 CLASSIC RECORDS – BLITZED THEM LAST RUN 1 NIGHT VOYAGE – KIWI WITH SOUND FORM 8 SUPERBEE – FOOT ON THE TILL 2 KISEKI DANE – UP TO BEATING THESE