Conditions Suit Bateup Mare In Provincial Championships (Kembla, Sat 18th Mar)

Crackalacka came close at her first attempt and trainer Theresa Bateup believes a superior draw can help her consistent mare go a couple better in Saturday’s Polytrack Provincial-Midway Championships Qualifier (1400m) at Kembla Grange.

Crackalacka ($19 on TAB) ran a massive race from a wide draw when finishing a third behind Essonne and Herb in the first $150,000 heat back on February 23 at Kembla.

Bateup has set her talented daughter of Poet’s Voice (GB) for a second crack at snaring a spot in the $500,000 Final at Royal Randwick on April 8.

Crackalacka (Molly Bourke) in winning form at Moruya. Image by Bradley Photographers

The local conditioner believes Crackalacka is well placed to give herself every chance of securing a highly-coveted spot in the decider after drawing in barrier two.

“She has a much better barrier this time and that’s probably brought her undone last time although Molly (Bourke) rode her an absolute treat,” Bateup said.

“I think she should get a nice soft run in behind the speed from barrier two.

“A bit of rain earlier in the week was nice because I just didn’t want a rock hard track.

“She just doesn’t let down on those sorts of tracks. It will be drying out but hopefully it still has a bit of give in it by race time.”

Bateup is keeping the faith in Molly Bourke for the heat with the in-form rider set to be the only apprentice saddling up in the capacity field of 16.

Bourke has piloted Crackalacka in each of her past five starts and won the Big Dance qualifying Moruya Cup earlier this preparation on the mare.

“I think she is a great young rider and the horse runs well for her,” Bateup said.

“She won the Moruya Cup on her and only just got beat at Canterbury on her and that was another 10 out of 10 ride from the outside barrier. She knows the horse very well.”

Crackalacka is a $19 outsider to secure a final berth while the Brad Widdup-trained Short Shorts ($4), Kris Lees’s Spangler ($7) and David Atkins-trained Contributingfactor ($8) are all high in betting.

“If anything this heat might be a touch stronger,” Bateup said. “I think you can make a case for nearly everything in the race so it is very competitive and is going to come down to luck in running.

“Hopefully this time from the barrier she can get a softer run in transit and with a bit of luck she can qualify.”

– Racing NSW

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