Gary Harley – Herald – 26.03.22

With the Provincial-Midway Championship qualifier scheduled for this Saturday at Wyong unsuitable for racing after considerable rainfall, Newcastle will now take on the 8-race program on what will likely be a Soft 5 track.

Kim Waugh has qualified Great News, one of the favourites to win the 2022 Polytrack Provincial-Midway Championships Final, and on Saturday the stable will saddle up two of the leading contenders in the Wyong (Newcastle) Qualifier over 1350m.

Waugh’s pair French Bonnet ($7.50 on TAB) and Different Strokes ($8) are both resuming from spells and they both have outstanding credentials. The grey mare French Bonnet has won four of her 10 starts including three from five on wet tracks.

She hasn’t raced since November 2, however, French Bonnet has won two recent trials by more than five lengths. The mare ran her opposition off their legs in a recent Gosford trial and she did likewise in a Wyong trial three weeks earlier.

Different Strokes has had seven starts for three wins and three placings. He has had two quiet recent trials. In the spring he won two on the trot at Randwick and Wyong.

Kris Lees has won four of the Qualifiers and he has accepted with five of his team for the Newcastle event. The imported mare Grande Rumore ($5 favourite) has the best chance of the Lees’s runners. She loves a wet track and she was placed in the Sky Racing Provincial Final a week before Christmas.

Wyong speedster Zorocat ($11) has speed to burn and could prove difficult to run down.