WYONG trainer Kim Waugh filled the first two spots in Hawkesbury’s opening heat of the PolyTrack Provincial Championships Final last Sunday.
She now has hopes to clinch a third for the final, at Royal Randwick in April.
Waugh prepared the quinella in the opening $150,000 qualifier of the 2019 series when Safado, jockeyed by Jason Collett, overpowered his gutsy stablemate Spring Charlie in the 1400m event. Both horses came in first [Safado] and second [Spring Charlie].
Waugh is now aiming her sights towards Newcastle’s second qualifier on Saturday, March 9.
There, she will have Fuchu , a lightly-raced four-year-old who has won his last three starts.
That will result in an exciting clash with ruling Provincial Championships favourite, Kembla Grange trained Archedemus.
Who is unbeaten at his last four starts, the latest over 1350m at Rosehill Gardens last Saturday.
Buoyed by Sunday’s result, Waugh is looking forward with cautious confidence to breaking her “duck” in the 1400 meter Final at Royal Randwick on April 13.
“Hopefully, this will be our year,” she said.
“I’ve been placed in three of the four finals so far, and felt I should have nearly won it last year [Waughs horse Newsfan was runner-up to Serene Miss]."
Waugh admitted that after straightening, she thought Spring Charlie would wear down front-runner, $71 bolter Cuban Royale, who came in eight and set a slick pace.
She was hoping Safado would hang on for third to qualify for the final.
“He powered home; he’s a good horse,” she added. “But I won’t commit just yet to whether Safado and Spring Charlie will race again before the final. I might trial them.”
Hawkesbury Race Club Chief Executive, Greg Rudolph, was pleased with the opening heat of the series, which attracted a good crowd and an exciting atmosphere as the main race drew closer.
“The series has started off with a thrilling contest, indicative of how the next few races will pan out,” he said.
“The final at Royal Randwick on April 13 will be a great race and worthy of its place on the second day of The Championships program."
The Hawkesbury's Tara and Philippe Vigouroux trained three-year-old, Captain Courageous took out the 1000 meter Simpson Building Group Benchmark 64 Handicap in just his sixth start.
He was jockeyed by Winona Costin, who was very happy with the win.
Sister Sledge, trained by Randwick's Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bolt, took out the Irresistible Pools and Spas F&M Maiden Plate just prior to the Provincial Championships Qualifier.
Also in that race, Cinnamon Cloud's jockey Nicolas Barzalona fell off very early on, but was uninjured.