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The Provincial Championships is one of the great concepts created by Racing NSW and the ATC, showcasing to the racing world the best of the non metropolitan based horses. The race is wide open as always, so here at Justhorseracing, we have put together an extensive preview in order for you to find the winner.

The Heats:

Heat One: Thursday February 23, Wyong, 1350m, Good3 Surface
Qualifiers: Noble Joey/Better Not Blue/Princess Posh
Time: 1:19.37 (Last 600m in 34.78)
Other 1350m Times That Meeting: 1:18.69 (Class 2), 1:19.66 (Maiden)
Summary: No idea what to make of this race. As you can see, the time was nothing flash, and Noble Joey did stack them up in front, giving nothing from the back a look in. Keep in mind that prior to this he was a risk beyond 1200m, so it was a ripping ride from Kathy O’Hara. The other qualifeirs, Better Not Blue and Princess Posh, were very good with no luck. Better Not Blue was back and wide against the tempo while Princess Posh had no room at a vital stage. I’d rather follow that pair over Noble Joey. He and Better Not Blue trialled okay recently at Warwick Farm while Princess Posh was very good in defeat a couple of Saturdays back at Newcastle behind stablemate Rosa Carolina.


Heat Two: Thursday March 2, Hawkesbury, 1400m, Heavy8 Surface
Qualifiers: Shazee Lee, Budderoo Knight, Reiby Rampart
Time: 1:24.08 (Last 600m in 36.59)
Other 1400m Times That Meeting: 1:26.22 (Maiden), 1:24.15 (Class 1), 1:24.16 (Class 1)
Summary: Just another Heat where I am left confused. Horses were winning out wide on the course but Christian Reith on Shazee Lee, who brought just fair form leading in, cuddled the mare off the pace and once the split came, she dashed and beat Budderoo Knight, who was given every chance. Clear unlucky runner was Reiby Rampart and he franked that with a dominant win at Newcastle. Both Shazee Lee and Budderoo Knight have trialled up okay since.


Heat Three: Saturday March 18, Rosehill, 1200m, Heavy10 Surface
Qualifiers: Pomelo/Heavenly Anna/Dream Lane
Time: 1:15.05
Other 1200m Times That Meeting: 1:14.12 (Birthday Card), 1:15.23 (Darby Munro), 1:15.04 (Golden Slipper)
Summary: Easy to see why Pomelo is the favourite for the Final. This was one of the wins of the day, and considering it was Golden Slipper Day, that tells you something. High cruising speed from the mare, who ran along in front at a solid speed and just broke their hearts with race fitness on her side. Tired late, but entitled to. Heavenly Anna and Dream Lane were both outstanding in defeat. Heavenly Anna was first up off one soft trial and had to come extremely wide on the turn, which was the no go zone. Dream Lane was first up off no trials and was wide no cover on speed. She was brave. Pomelo was impressive, but the other pair have alot more upside. They can definitely turn the tables.


Heat Four: Thursday March 23, Goulburn, 1400m, Heavy9 Surface
Qualifiers: Maryore/Ziganui/Virgilio
Time: 1:25.10 (Last 600m in 36.57)
Other 1400m Times That Meeting: Nome
Summary: Another interesting heat that leaves me with more questions than answers. Maryore flopped out the back in the run but Tim Clark found the best ground out wide and she savaged the line to grab Ziganui. The best ground was clearly where Maryore was, so Ziganui was very good in defeat I thought, as was Virgilio. I think Ziganui is the one with the most room to improve and I can see her loving the Randwick 1400m. She’s the one I want to follow.


Heat Five: Wednesday march 29, Newcastle, 1400m, Good4 Surface
Qualifiers: Clevedon Bay/Calabasas/Pacifc Reign
Time: 1:22.04 (Last 600m in 34.72)
Other 1400m Times That Meeting: 1:23.05 (Maiden), 1:22.06 (3YO Benchmark 67)
Summary: This was a classic example of Brenton Avdulla is the leading rider in NSW at the moment. Absolute peach of a steer on Clevedon Bay, tracking up Calabasas and its every move before peeling clear 200m out and finishing best to nab the Kim Waugh trained galloper. Pacific Reign ran along in front and did a remarkable job to hold on for third given how fast they went. I think the first two here are the two to follow and indeed two of the hardest to beat.

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