Illawarra Turf Club – Kembla Grange

Provincial Championships Qualifier - Saturday 23 March 2019 

Twelve months on from an unsuccessful Provincial Championships Final, Unequivocal backed her trainer’s claim that she was a better horse this time around by winning Kembla Grange’s Qualifier.

The mare gets her chance to win the big race again after running into an unfavourable Heavy 8 track in the Final last year.

Hawkesbury’s Noel Mayfield-Smith watched on as his mare came from the rear of the field to storm past the Kris Lees pair and fellow qualifiers, Danish Twist and Parraay.

“I was really happy to see her qualify even though I had Hawkesbury’s race as a back-up plan,” Mayfield-Smith said.

“She finished off powerfully, but Tommy did tell me after the race that he was worried after they jumped because she didn’t seem to initially handle the shifting track. She needs it dry.”

When asked how confident he was ahead of the Final, Mayfield-Smith didn’t want to make any predictions this time. But she has had six of her 17 career starts at Royal Randwick.

“It’s too early to tell yet but I think the two behind her had their chance and she’ll enjoy getting back to Randwick again,” he said.

Despite not winning the race, Kris Lees will play an even bigger role in the Final than Mayfield-Smith after two of his runners qualified by finishing second and third.

Favourite Danish Twist ran her usual honest race and has only been unplaced three times in 12 starts while Lees said punters and fans haven’t yet seen the best of Parraay.