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  • Provincial Racing NSW


Updated: Mar 30

ADAM Duggan is having another shot at Wyong today to qualify Diamond Diesel for the Provincial-Midway Championships Final.

And he considers the gelding will strip fitter for the 1350m Qualifier.

The Gosford trainer feels Diamond Diesel ($12 with this morning) was a “bit too fresh” when sixth to Wyong mare Shadows Of Love in his home track Qualifier (1200m) on March 16.

That was his first start since winning the Malcolm Cusick Stakes (1200m) – a Class 4 Handicap - on his home track in late December.

As that was Diamond Diesel’s fifth victory, Duggan didn’t race him again, otherwise another win would have ruled him ineligible for the PMC Championships.

“That run a fortnight ago has brought him on, so we’ll have another crack at qualifying at Wyong,” he said.

“Whereas he drew well at Gosford, that’s not the case this time, so we’re going to need some luck in the run, but he does have pace to hopefully get into a good spot.”

Mitchell Bell rode Diamond Diesel at Gosford, and sticks with the seven-year-old today.

Leading Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup was pleased to hear a “Good 4” rating for his Wyong representative Ausbred Flirt (Alysha Collett) as he attempts to secure his third Qualifier for the PMC Final.

He has already won Hawkesbury (Short Shorts) and Kembla Grange (Ruby Flyer) Qualifiers, and withdrew Ausbred Flirt from last week’s latter race because of her disliking for heavy ground.

“We’ve had her ready to go now for a few weeks, but she definitely needs firm ground,” Widdup said.

“Ausbred Flirt did a terrific job to finish as close as she did (in the Group 2 Guy Walter Stakes at Randwick a month ago when resuming) after bungling the start, and has trained on well.

“I’m really happy with her.”

The first two placegetters at Wyong secure spots in the field for the $1m Final (1400m) to be run at Royal Randwick on April 13.

Ausbred Flirt is a $4.20 second favorite behind fellow Hawkesbury trainer Edward Cummings’ topweight Strait Acer ($3.70).

Leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees has withdrawn Willinga Freefall to save him for Wednesday’s Wild Card (1400m) at home, and relies on Dream Hour (Jeff Penza) and Cacofonix (Christian Reith).

Dream Hour, an excellent fourth in Short Shorts’ Hawkesbury Qualifier (1400m), is third favorite at $5.50, with Gosford trainer Angela Davies’ Karedada ($6.50) the only other horse under double figures.

Wyong trainer Alan Kehoe has decided to put blinkers on Moonlight Grace (Grant Buckley), and Sweet Ruby races in bar plates in front.

. The rail is in the TRUE position for the eight-race program, which begins at 1.25pm, and concludes at 5.40pm.

Story John Curtis, March 30, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

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