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  • Provincial Racing NSW


THERE will be another feather in Gosford-based Angela Davies’ training cap if she can qualify Reggie’s Boy at Newcastle tomorrow for the $500,000 Polytrack Provincial-Midway Championship Final.

Davies landed the 2020 Final with Through The Cracks when it was run for Provincial trainers only, and is chasing one of the last three remaining spots in the 15-horse field for Saturday week’s finale at Royal Randwick on Day 2 of The Championships.

Andrew Gibbons, who has partnered Reggie’s Boy in all three career victories and in two of the series Qualifiers, again partners the gelding in the $150,000 Wildcard (1400m).

Davies, who keeps only a small team, clearly has a knack of getting the best out of bargain buys.

Through The Cracks was a $7500 cheapie at the 2016 Scone yearling sale and has earned $620,000, whilst Davies secured Reggie’s Boy for $35,000 at Book 2 of the 2020 Magic Millions yearling sale on the Gold Coast, and he has already returned $86,000 from only a dozen starts.

“He was very muscular with a great hindquarter, and was easy to like,” Davies said today.

“I haven’t had a runner in the series since Through The Cracks won the Final three years ago until Reggie’s Boy this year.

“He hasn’t finished further back than fifth at five runs this campaign, and his two efforts in the Qualifiers at Hawkesbury (March 4) and Kembla Grange (March 18) were good.

“Reggie’s Boy was just over two lengths from the winner (Phearson) at Hawkesbury, and he was really gutsy when third to Short Shorts, who broke the 1400m track record in winning the Kembla Qualifier.

“Andrew (Gibbons) said he was never on the bridle when the leader tore away in front, but he kept digging in.

“I have been really happy with Reggie’s Boy since, and being a lightly-raced horse, it’s worth another throw at the stumps.

“It will be fantastic for the owners and myself if he can qualify tomorrow to have another runner in a half million dollar race at The Championships.”

Newcastle was rated a “Heavy 9” this morning following further overnight rain, and though Reggie’s Boy hasn’t encountered such conditions, his trainer believes he will cope with it.

“He has the two runs under his belt now in the Qualifiers over 1400m, and is very fit and tough,” Davies said.

“Hopefully they don’t go as hard as they did at Kembla, and If Andrew can get a nice run on him, I’m sure he will be very competitive.”

Reggie’s Boy’s sire Your Song won two of his three starts on heavy ground, including a five lengths’ trouncing of his Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) rivals at Eagle Farm in 2013.

Meanwhile, the now eight-year-old Through The Cracks is back in work after a slight hiccup last year when he tripped over in the sand and pulled a muscle.

Reggie’s Boy is currently a $21 chance with for tomorrow’s Wildcard, with Brad Widdup’s The Poacher (Kerrin McEvoy) narrowly holding favoritism at $4.80 over Kris Lees’ Loch Eagle (Dylan Gibbons) at $5.

Widdup has already qualified three horses (Phearson, Short Shorts and Cross The Rubicon) for Saturday week’s Final, and Lees, seeking his fifth win in the series and third in a row, has Kembla Grange runner-up Cloudland and last Saturday’s impressive Wyong winner Acquitted in the field.

The Poacher and Loch Eagle have both contested one Qualifier – and it was at Gosford on March 16, the 1200m event being won by ruling Final favorite Kayobi.

The Poacher turned in a first-class performance to finish fourth, having to race wide from the outside barrier in a field of 16.

Whilst he has never attempted 1400m, he gives every impression he will cope and is much better drawn this time.

Loch Eagle ran sixth in the Gosford Qualifier and will be better suited on the roomier Newcastle circuit, and boasts excellent wet track form.

The one-time Final favorite is the highest rated of Lees’ quartet in the market, but there has been good support for stablemate Spangler (Sam Clipperton), a firmer from $10 to $6 today.

Lees’ other representatives are Willinga Freefall ($10) and Baltic Coast ($21), the former backing up after finishing fourth to stablemate Acquitted in last Saturday’s Wyong Qualifier (1350m).

There has also been good support for another local, Scott Aspery’s Annulus (Mitchell Bell), who has tightened from $10 to $7.

Annulus, a 1600m winner at Newcastle last October, finished fifth in the Gosford Qualifier, splitting The Poacher and Loch Eagle.

The rail is out 5m for the entire circuit, and the eight-race program begins at 1.10pm.

*Words - John Curtis *

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