The first three horses into the Provincial Championship final have crossed the line in a three-way photo finish in the qualifying heat at Newcastle.
The Damien Lane-trained Oakfield Missile got the nod over the Kris Lees-trained Stella Sea Sun with Designated from the Kristen Buchanan stable third.
For Lane, Saturday’s win gives Oakfield Missile a second chance after her close fourth in last year’s final, three-quarters of a length from the winner Bobbing.
“She was unlucky in the final last year and from that we’ve planned everything around this,” Lane said.
“We missed a trial but the Newcastle club let us have an exhibition gallop, which we are grateful for.”
Jockey Darryl McLellan has formed a close association with the winner.
“I’ve been going to Damien’s to ride work and taking an interest in this one,” he said.
“Her work on Tuesday was first class so I was confident.”
Horses trained at the five NSW provincial tracks – Newcastle, Hawkesbury, Wyong, Gosford and Kembla Grange – are eligible for the heats and $500,000 final, which is at Randwick on April 11.
Kim Waugh had no luck with her runner Manhattan Mist but hopes Trumbull will make his way there after winning a benchmark race at Randwick on Saturday.
“He will go to the Gosford heat of the Provincial Championship in two weeks now,” Waugh said.