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DUGGAN REWARDED WITH QUALIFIER MOUNT

WYONG trainer Damien Lane has rewarded Jenny Duggan with the mount on Denetta at Hawkesbury on Saturday as the Polytrack Provincial-Midway Championship series continues.

Lane nominated two horses for the $150,000 Qualifier (1400m) for eligible provincial trained horses only, but will rely on Denetta, who has winning course form.

“Jenny has concluded her apprenticeship, and has been riding some work for us,” Lane said.

“It was a good opportunity to give her the ride on Denetta as we attempt to qualify the mare for the Provincial-Midway Final.”

Denetta has raced only once at Hawkesbury, and was successful in a Class 1 Handicap (1300m) in June last year, when ridden by Rachel King.

The Hawkesbury victory was the middle leg of a hat-trick for the lightly-raced Denman four-year-old, who had won a Maiden Plate (1300m) at Dubbo the previous month and then a Benchmark 66 Handicap (1280m) at Muswellbrook in July.

Denetta hasn’t raced since finishing fourth to Powerful Peg in a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1350m) for fillies and mares on the Beaumont track on Boxing Day.

Two starts earlier, she was runner-up to West Of Africa in a midweek Benchmark 64 Handicap (1300m) at Warwick Farm on November 23, coming from near the tail of the field at the 400m.

Lane is looking to have representatives after Saturday’s race at the next two Qualifiers as well.

He has pencilled in Wealthy Investor and Oakfield Prince for the third Provincial-Midway heat over 1400m at Newcastle on Thursday, March 9 and Fielding for the 1200m heat at Gosford a week later.

The two favourites (Spangler and Phearson) who were to have contested the opening Qualifier at Kembla Grange last Thursday, but didn’t start because of awkward draws, will line up at Hawkesbury.

Leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees, seeking his fifth series Final triumph after previously winning with Danish Twist (2016), Serene Miss (2018), Cristal Breeze (2021) and Kinloch last year, will start Spangler, while Hawkesbury’s leading trainer Brad Widdup intends to run both Phearson and Cross The Rubicon.

Grant Buckley will ride Phearson, who is resuming and chasing a hat-trick and has not missed a placing in six career starts to date, whilst Alysha Collett partners Cross The Rubicon, who is also resuming, having not raced since last October.

Along with Spangler, Lees has also entered Baltic Coast, Cloudland and Willinga Freefall for Hawkesbury.

Twenty horses have been nominated for the race (16 can start with provision for four emergencies), with the first two placegetters automatically qualifying for the $500,000 Final (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 8 on Day 2 of The Championships.



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