Provincial Plate lures Penske to Melbourne

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June 21, 2018 - 06:06 PM

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Connections of last-start Randwick winner Penske have been quick to take the opportunity to send him to Melbourne for the David Bourke Provincial Plate at Flemington.

Saturday's $100,000 benchmark-90 race over 1600m is restricted to horses who have competed at least three times in non-metropolitan races in the past year, and four-year-old Penske fits that criteria.

"That's the main attraction for him targeting the race," Adrian Bott, who trains in partnership with Gai Waterhouse, said.

"There was a couple of options for him in Sydney but the conditions of the race were quite intriguing and quite interesting and at first we didn't quite know how to line up the form or know the types of horses that would be entered for the race.

"So we put a nomination in on Monday and once we saw the nominations we thought he looked well-placed.

"We were able to make the decision pretty quickly from there to send him down to our stable there this week."

The Randwick trainers have a base at Flemington.

The winner of four of his 10 starts, Penske has run four of his seven races this preparation at provincial or country tracks in NSW, including a win in a class one at Wyong in April and a Gooree Cup victory at Mudgee last month.

The gelding led all the way in a 1550m benchmark-75 race on the Kensington track at Randwick last Monday, his first city win.

"It's a really good opportunity for this horse to take that next step and compete on a Saturday and a chance to earn some really decent prize money," Bott said.

"He's progressed a long way this preparation and gone through his grades at the provincials, but he seems to be getting a little bit more seasoned now.

"He was previously a bit green and running his races in stages and wanting to overdo it but now he's maturing a bit more and learning what it's all about."