By Brenton Le Grand
Racing returns to The Entertainment Grounds at Gosford this Saturday with Heat five of the Sky Racing Spring Provincial Series. The $400,000 race series is restricted to provincially trained horses and will culminate in the $150,000 final to be held at Kembla Grange on December 1. The top three from each heat qualify for the final, with the fourth place getters declared emergencies.
Local trainer Gregory McFarlane has a strong chance in the event with his five-year-old Wanted mare Our Winnie looking for six wins from her past seven outings. Having strung five wins on the trot from July to September, she wasn’t disgraced in town last start, finishing a close third to Savacool on the Kensington surface and will be a solid chance of qualifying for the final.
Another local trainer Kylie Gavenlock has her ultra-consistent mare Wild About Her engaged in the Warmtech Heating Systems Class 1 Handicap over 1600m. Whilst only saluting once in 11 starts, the four-year-old Big Brown mare has also added seven placings and only finished out of the top five on one occasion. Out of the AJC Oaks winning mare Once Were Wild, the 1600m distance second-up looks ideal with in-form hoop Grant Buckley booked to ride.
“She’s drawn a bit awkwardly out there in gate nine, but the step up to the mile will definitely suit,” Gavenlock said. “She’s not top grade, but simply puts in every time she goes to the races.”
Perhaps the most competitive race on the card is the Mobility 2 You Benchmark 64 Handicap over 1200m. The locals are again well represented with Nick Mitchell’s Kotinos and Irene Cowell’s Uncle Sam both top chances. Surprisingly, Kotinos has never raced on his home surface, with all of his NSW wins coming at Newcastle. Uncle Sam does have a home track win to his credit, but will need a good steer from Amelia Denby having drawn poorly in gate 12.
Gates open at 12pm with the first race scheduled for 12.59pm. There is plenty to do on course with live music, free kids entertainment and hospitality packages still available.