By Julieanne Horsman
Short priced favourite Pomelo aside, it’s an open field in the Provincial Championships with plenty of genuine chances. There has been no scratchings and all horses are reported to be in top shape. Here’s what the trainers had to say on the eve of the $400,000 Provincial Championships Final.
NOBLE JOEY - “I’m very happy with the horse but he is going to have to do a lot more work with the awkward draw. That said he did win from barrier 13 last start. He does his best work when he leads.” – Robert Price (in partnership with son Luke Price.)
BETTER NOT BLUE – “He is going super and I am really happy with the way he has come along. I was hoping for barrier 9 or 10 and he got 10 which is right for him. We missed out on a bit of work due to the wet weather but I still rate him.” – Michelle Ritchie.
ZIGANUI – “He came through his last super run super and we are really looking forward to tomorrow. We’ve drawn poorly but the horse is adaptable, he can go forward or back and we have Hugh Bowman on board which is a plus. He raced well at Goulburn and deserves this chance.” – Scott Collings (in partnership with Keith Dryden.)
BUDDEROO KNIGHT – “He’s definitely a better chance than the odds suggest. He should race somewhere near the speed. He’ll start from a good gate (9) and I’m happy with him. He just needs a bit of luck.” – Robert Price (in partnership with son Luke Price.)
CALABASAS – “He’s done really well since his last run. It was only his second race back from a spell so there’s plenty in the tank. It will be his first run with blinkers on tomorrow so hopefully they do the trick. I think he will go well.” – Kim Waugh.
PACIFIC REIGN – “He pulled up well from the qualifier. He’s fit and well and I’ve had no problems with him. He’s drawn a bit awkwardly but he’ll go forward, that’s his racing style. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.” – David Atkins.
VIRGILIO – “He’s come along really well since qualifying. He does get into the race badly weighted when you look at the form but I am very happy with him. He is a good honest horse. He will go forward and then they have to catch him.” – Kerry Parker.
MARYORE – “I’m very happy her. She has had what I feel is pretty close to the ideal preparation. She had a strong win at Goulburn and took benefit from that run. I consider her a good each way chance.” – Philip Courtney.
POMELO – “She has done everything right but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. She has led every time and the 1400m at Royal Randwick is hard.” – Gwenda Markwell.
DREAM LANE – “She’s going well, I am really pleased with her. She is better that she was going into the race last year.” – Nick Mitchell.
CLEVEDON BAY – “She came through her win at Newcastle in good order and looks set to get a really good run from the barrier (6). I think she’s a great chance.” – Kris Lees.
HEAVENLY ANNA – “She’s had a nice improvement in her fitness from her last race. She has come out of what I think was the strongest form race and I’m really happy with her going into this race. I’m actually just looking forward to both of them (Parker also trained Virgilio) going around.” – Kerry Parker.
PRINCESS POSH – “She has done really well from her most recent run. We need luck from an awkward alley but if she gets that she will be competitive.” – Kris Lees.
REIBY RAMPART – “I am really looking forward to her running tomorrow. I gave her another race at Newcastle last week and she won convincingly. She hasn’t done much since then and is ready and raring to go.” – Jason Attard.
SHAZEE LEE – “She’s terrific. Everything has gone to plan since she won her heat. She trialled well at Randwick on 21 March and has been working well. She’s at the top of her game and has no excuses.” – Scott Singleton.