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  • Provincial Racing NSW


NEWCASTLE will provide the last chance for trainers to qualify their horses for a first ever $1m Polytrack Provincial Midway Championships Final.

The three placegetters in the $150,000 Wild Card (1400m) at the Broadmeadow meeting on Wednesday, April 3 will join another 12 who have qualified in six earlier heats run at provincial clubs in the lead-up to the 1400m Final – which has been doubled from $500,000 – at Royal Randwick on April 13 during The Championships.

Last year’s Wild Card produced the first and second placegetters (Spangler and Loch Eagle) in the Final, giving leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees his third success in a row and fifth of nine runnings since the feature was introduced in 2015.

Lees had all three placegetters – Loch Eagle beat Spangler and Willinga Freefall – in the 2023 Wild Card, and Spangler turned the tables in the Final with a resounding victory, with James McDonald aboard.

Lees also won the Final with Danish Twist in 2015, Serene Miss in 2018, Cristal Breeze in 2021 and Kinloch in 2022.

The Wild Card is open to horses who have contested any of the six qualifiers (but have yet to qualify).

The six heats - three for eligible Provincial trained horses only and three for both eligible and Provincial and Midway horses – will be conducted between February 29 and March 30.

The details of these qualifying heats are:

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 29 – KEMBLA GRANGE, 1400m (Provincial/Midway);

SATURDAY, MARCH 2 – NEWCASTLE, 1400m (Provincial Only);

SATURFDAY, MARCH 9 – HAWKESBURY, 1400m (Provincial Only);

SATURDAY, MARCH 16 – GOSFORD, 1200m (Provincial/Midway);

SATURDAY, MARCH 23 – KEMBLA GRANGE, 1400m (Provincial/Midway);

SATIRDAY, MARCH 30 – WYONG, 1350m (Provincial).

All six qualifiers and the Wild Card will carry prizemoney of $150,000.

The first two placegetters in each of the above qualifying heats will be joined by the three Wild Card placegetters to comprise a field of 15 for the Final.

Story John Curtis, January 3, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

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