Provincial Championship qualifier at risk

The next Provincial Championship heat at Hawkesbury likely hinges on a change in the weather and an early morning track gallop by jockey Grant Buckley.

The second opportunity to qualify for the $400,000 Provincial Championship final at Randwick on April 8 risks joining Kembla Grange and Warwick Farm as non-events as rain pelts coastal NSW.

The track was downgraded to a heavy 9 on Wednesday afternoon after 18mm of rain over 24 hours.

Thunderstorms are predicted on Thursday, when the $150,000 heat spearheads the eight-race card.

Stewards will assess the track at 6.30 after Buckley gallops a horse with racing due to get underway at 1.20pm with the feature at 4.55pm.

The top three finishers join the trio from Wyong who qualified for the final last Thursday.

Saturday’s Randwick Guineas day is also in jeopardy with rain expected to continue until Saturday when up to 35mm is forecast to fall on the already sodden track.

The Australian Turf Club officials and Racing New South Wales counterparts will meet on Thursday to consider contingency plans if the meeting has to be moved.

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