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IN-FORM WAUGH SETS FOUR FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIPS




KIM Waugh clearly subscribes to the theory that perseverance reaps a reward!

And a trio of winners (Shadows Of Love at Rosehill Gardens and Doraskaya and Buba at Gosford on Saturday has the Wyong trainer in peak form which she hopes will parlay into finally breaking the ice in this year’s Provincial-Midway Championships, which begin at Kembla Grange on Thursday.

For the first time ever, the 2024 Final (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 13 (Day 2 of The Championships) will boast a $1m purse; $540,000 going to the winner – and Waugh has a haul of four four-year-olds primed for the series.

Waugh has qualified no less than 17 horses – 14 of them actually got to the post – in the nine Final runnings so far, and five have been placed. Only once has she not had a runner on the big day.

She was runner-up with Newsfan and Spring Charlie in 2018 and 2019 respectively, and third with Oxford Poet (2015), His Majesty (2016) and Oxford Tycoon (2020).

“We have been unlucky a couple of times not to have already won the Final,” Waugh said.

“I also qualified Uptown Lad (Hawkesbury heat winner), Manhattan Mist (Wyong runner-up), and Great News (Gosford heat winner) for respective Finals, but for various reasons unfortunately weren’t able to run.

“Uptown Lad sustained a tendon injury after Hawkesbury, and never raced again.”

There will be no shortage of contenders from the Waugh stable as she seeks to make this her year.

Waugh has planned four representatives, including Saturday’s impressive Rosehill winner Shadows Of Love, who came from last to take the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1100m) for three and four-year-olds at double figure odds.

It was the Dissident mare’s fifth victory; her first coming just under 12 months ago on March 4 in a Provincial Maiden Plate (1100m) at Hawkesbury on the same program as Phearson’s victory in the Hawkesbury Provincial-Midway Championships Qualifier.

“Shadows Of Love has now won the maximum number of races to be eligible, so she will run next in the Gosford Qualifier (1200m) in three weeks (March 16),” Waugh said.

“She is a lovely mare who is in great form, and was racing for the first time on Saturday since early December off the back of one trial.

“I also have Selfless Act, Always In and True Crime trying to qualify.

“Selfless Act will run in Thursday’s Kembla Qualifier (1400m), Always In two days later in the Newcastle Qualifier (1400m), and True Crime on Saturday week in the Hawkesbury Qualifier (1400m).”

Like Shadows Of Love, Selfless Act (four wins) and Always In (three wins) are both mares and each has won two of their last three starts, whilst gelding True Crime (four wins) was successful in last year’s Newcastle Qualifier before finishing sixth in Spangler’s Final on a heavy track.

The Kembla Grange and Gosford Qualifiers are for both eligible Provincial and Midway horses, and the Newcastle and Hawkesbury Qualifiers are restricted to eligible Provincial horses.

Twenty-two horses have been entered for Thursday’s Kembla Qualifier.

Along with Waugh’s Gosford triumphs with Doraskaya ($4) and $2.50 favorite Buba, Provincial trainers won the last five of seven races at the Gosford meeting.

Gosford pair Adam Duggan (Rockin’ Mille, $2.70 favorite) and Kylie Gavenlock (Queen Bess, $3.30 equal favorite) were joined by Newcastle’s Paul Perry, who won with $26 outsider Bodgie, claiming his 36th of the season.

Newcastle’s Kris Lees was an interstate winner on the Gold Coast polytrack with Snapoutofit ($5.50), and his talented sprinter Brudenell ($21) was an excellent fifth in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield.

Kembla Grange’s Steven Wilson and Hawkesbury’s Tommy Wong were successful at today’s Country Championships Qualifier meeting at Mudgee, with $19 chance Just Boogie, ridden by Kembla apprentice Olivia Chambers, and well-backed Desi Emperor ($7), ridden by Grant Buckley, respectively.

Kim Waugh’s Provincial-Midway Final Record:

2015 – Oxford Poet ($10) – THIRD

              Supreme Effort ($26) – 14th

2016 – His Majesty ($8) – THIRD

              Hetty Heights ($7.50) – 6th

               Supreme Effort ($8.50) – 13th

2017 – Calabasas ($13 – 6th

2018 – Newsfan ($12) – SECOND

2019 – Spring Charlie ($6) – SECOND

              Fuchu ($51) – 7th

              Safado ($6) – 12th

2020 – Oxford Tycoon ($12) – THIRD

              Celer ($51) – 15th

2022 – Great News ($4.40) – 5th

2023 – True Crime ($19) – 6th

Story John Curtis, February 25, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

 

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