Heavenly Anna in contention for Provincial Championships

Heavenly Anna

HEAVENLY Anna moves into the Provincial Championships final at Randwick next month as a serious contender following her eye-catching second in her series qualifier over the weekend.

Originally scheduled to be run at Wyong last Wednesday, the heat was moved to Rosehill Gardens on Saturday and tested out a number of the runners on a heavy 10 track.

However, Heavenly Anna showed plenty of class, swooping from the tail of the field on the home turn to finish 2.5 lengths second behind Pomelo over the 1200m sprint.

Dream Lane ran third and will also progress through to the final, worth $400,000 at Randwick on April 8.

Trainer Kerry Parker said he was very happy with Heavenly Anna’s performance after a challenging few days leading into the event.

“The three-day turnaround when we thought we were going around on Wednesday but then the meeting got moved to Saturday was a bit of a rigmarole – but we got through it and I was expecting her to run very well because she has got some good form in the wet,” Parker said.

A winner of three from nine with two minor placings, Parker says he is expecting Heavenly Anna to improve heading into the series decider.

“I think her fitness will improve heading into the final – she only had one trial leading into Saturday and that was four weeks beforehand,” he said.

“She will go into the final with three weeks between runs – I want to keep her fresh especially after racing on the heavy 10.

“The three from the heat on Saturday sort of gapped the rest so I would imagine that form will hold up heading into the final, although there is no disputing that the winner [Pomelo] is very good.”

Parker says he is hoping for a bright future for the four-year-old mare who he says has been a challenge in the past.

“She had a few little dramas here and there and she is a little bit scatty – you have got to work with her because she is a little hot female – but us trainers all enjoy a challenge and she is one of them.

“She has proven that she can gallop – but it is just a matter of keeping her right and in a good frame of mind.”

Parker also thanked the daughter of Duporth and Caviar Emptor’s owners and says it would be a massive thrill for all involved to taste success in the final.

“Deidre and Alex Illes have been really good supporters of mine so I am really glad to get a runner for them in the final.

“It’s really good for the owners – it gives them faith giving their horses to the provincial trainers because they know they could potentially be eligible for a race such as this whereas if they were with a city trainer they would not be able to race in it.

“A win would also be a big boost for the stables and all my staff – everyone puts in all year round so it would be nice to be rewarded.”

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