A last-minute decision to run Barossa Rosa paid dividends for Tracey Bartley, the mare taking out the $150,000 Wyong Polytrack Provincial-Midway Qualifier. 

Consistent heavy rain caused the meeting to be transferred from Wyong to Newcastle, but Bartley had no complaints taking out the feature and the previous race, the 1200m BM68, with Sebrenco. 

Barossa Rosa is now the second of Bartley’s small team to qualify for the $500,000 final at Randwick on April 9, joining stablemate Kiss Sum. 

There was a great deal of uncertainty about the four-year-old making the final qualifier at Newcastle, after she suffered a stone bruise earlier in the week. 

Bartley and his team worked day and night to ensure she was fit for her shot at the rich series. 

“She trod on something and came out with a big stone bruise, and we worked morning and night to get her there,” Bartley said. 

“I was expecting to scratch her the morning of the race, but we trotted her up and she was fine.”

The rest as they say is history, but things didn’t quite to plan to plan, giving Bartley a few nervous moments during the race.

Normally a front running mare, jockey Jeff Penza landed toward the rear, unable to cross from the wide barrier. 

He had to come from last on the turn, but courtesy of a great rails hugging ride, was able to pull away to score by more than a length. 

“I’ve never seen this mare last in her life, so I was a bit worried,” Bartley conceded. “But she cut the corner and I think he saved six lengths. 

“All credit to Jeff and I hope he comes and rides her in the final.

“We’ve got two in the final now and it’s a great effort for stable with just 20 horses in work and a credit to our staff. 

“We’ve got some nice horses in work, and we look after them.”

Penza said that when things didn’t go to plan at the start, he opted to take a sit. 

“I had to take what we had, so I slipped over to the fence, and she really sprinted when I wanted her to. Once she got into clear running she hit the line well.”

Grande Rumore from the Lees stable was second, giving the powerful stable five runners in the final.

Kristen Buchanan’s Pandora Blue was brave in defeat finishing fourth, after leading for most of the race. 

The Waugh, Buchanan, Lane, Farley, Bartley and Munce stables all have horses nominated for the final shot at the series, the Wildcard at Newcastle this coming Thursday. 



With a strong hand in Saturday’s home track qualifier Wyong trainers are confident they can add to the two local runners already through to the Polytrack Provincial-Midway Final.

Locally trained horses make up half of Saturday’s field of 16, with Kim Waugh saddling up French Bonnet and Different Strokes in the $150,000 race, while Barossa Rosa and Mabel represent Tracey Bartley.

Oakfield Arrow, Pandora Blue and Fumiko complete a trio for Kristen Buchanan, while Zorocat lines up for Damien Lane. 

Victorella trained by Louise Munce and Bartley’s Sebrenco are among the four emergencies.

Waugh and Bartley have already qualified Great News and Kiss Sum, respectively for the $500,000 final on April 9, both among the top five chances in early betting. 

French Bonnet resumes in the 1350m Qualifier and Waugh is pleased with her form leading into the race. 

“Her two trials have been really good and I’m very pleased with her. She’s absolutely flying,” she said. 

French Bonnet has put together four wins and a placing from her 10 starts, including a Warwick Farm victory over 1400m last preparation. 

The stables other runner, Different Strokes also resumes after two trials. 

He has three wins and three placings from just seven starts, including a Midway win over 1400m on October 9 before being unplaced in the Four Pillars. 

“His trials have been very good as well,” Waugh said. “I’m very happy with both of them.”

Bartley is equally enthused with his duo Barossa Rosa, a Midway winner who finished a close fourth in the Four Pillars and progressive filly Mabel.

“Barossa Rosa’s barrier trial was good the other day and she makes her own luck up on the speed. She’s probably the better of my two only because she has a bit more maturity than the filly at this stage, but Mabel’s been working really well this week.”

The Buchanan stable saddles up two previous Midway winners in Oakfield Arrow (pictured) and Pandora Blue, with the trainer believing both are good chances.

“I’ve been really pleased with Pandora and her first up run this prep was good. My only concern is she could be a bit vulnerable over the 1350m,” she said. 

“Oakfield Arrow’s last run in the Newcastle Qualifier looked plain on paper but she came back with irregular blood work after the race. She’s a lovely free-rolling mare, who can handle the wet if the rain comes, and she gets her chance.”

Buchanan said she “couldn’t be happier” with Fumiko, who backs up from the Newcastle Qualifier on March 5. 

Lane’s Zorocat ran without luck in the Gosford Qualifier on March 12 and will put in an improved performance off a more favourable barrier.

The first of eight races gets underway at 1.10pm.


Race 1 – 1.10pm: TWIN LAKES AIR PTY OLTD 3YO MAIDEN (1000m): 1 SELHURST PARK, 2 Ottilie, 3 Ultra, 4 Adelinda.

Race 2 – 1.45pm: LAKES PODIATARY 2YO MAIDEN (1200m): 1 PRETTY SHAMROCK, 2 Atoine, 3 Nobel, 4 Perpignan.

Race 3 – 2.20pm: PANASALES PTY LTD MAIDEN (1600m): 1 TIEMPE PASSATE, 2 Silent Thunder, 3 Afewchoicewords, 4 Our Belle Fille.

Race 4 – 3.00pm: VIETMAN VETERANS KEITH PAYNE VC HOSTEL CLASS 1 & MAIDEN (2100m): 1 SEA TREASURES, 2 Monfelicity, 3 Credit Crunch, 4 Caribeean Stud.

Race 5 – 3.40pm: KAREN ANSEN CONSULTING MAIDEN (1350m): 1 AMATHUBA, 2 Mojo Classic, 3 Salizada, 4 By Nine.

Race 6 – 4.20pm: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES AIR CONDITIONERS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD CLASS 1 (1350m): 1 GHOSTWRITER, 2 Jimmy’s Dream, 3 Aspen Chase, 4 Coppersonic.

Race 7 – 5.00pm: HALEKULANI BOWLING CLUB CONDITIONAL BM68 (1100m): 1 PLEADING, 2 Land Of Valens, 3 Comeback Star, 4 Magic On Ice.

Race 8 – 5.40pm: POLYTRACK PROVINCIAL-MIDWAY CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFIER (1350m): 1 FRENCH BONNET, 2 Divine Breath, 3 Noble Soldier, 4 Pandora Blue.