Kembla Grange trainer Kerry Parker only had two horses capable of running in the Provincial Championships and both Virgilio ($51 with TAB fixed odds) and Heavenly Anna ($23) have made it to the Randwick final and now he is plotting an upset on Saturday.
“When there is a $400,000 race that you are eligible for you look at the stable and say, 'what have I got',” Parker said. “I have always thought Heavenly Anna could be up to a good race and Virgilio was a three-year-old on the way up at the right time, so we had a crack with them and got in the final.
Below: Heavenly Anna - has been set for the $400,000 Provincial Championships Final at Royal Randwickon Saturday. Image by - Bradley Photographers
“They both handle soft tracks and I thought their runs in the heats, even though they didn’t win, were very good and they have improved since.”
Heavenly Anna is probably the better chance of the pair after she was runner-up to Pomelo in the Gosford qualifier, which had to be moved to Rosehill on Golden Slipper day.
“That track was very heavy by the time they got on it and I think it is the strongest form out of the heats,” Parker said.
“Pomelo is a very good horse and rightfully favourite. Heavenly Anna got back and really finished it off well.
“She was first-up from a spell and she was always going be better with that run. The plan was to get her in the final, which is at her best trip.”
Virgilio led the Kembla qualifier, which had to be moved to Goulburn, until the final 100m and held on for third.
“He was brave and has good base behind him and we know he will handle the soft track,” Parker said. Parker’s pair are part of half dozen from Kembla, which also includes Better Not Blue ($9.50) from the Michelle Ritchie yard.