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Animate wins Provincial C'ship Qualifier

Animate has won the Provincial Championship Qualifier at Newcastle to give trainer Kris Lees five runners in the final.

Trainer Kris Lees has added to his chances in the Provincial Championship Final, with three-year-old Animate booking his spot with victory in the final qualifying heat.

The Lees-trained Animate won Tuesday's $150,000 Provincial Championship Qualifier (1350m) which was held at Newcastle after being washed out at Wyong on Sunday.

The first three placegetters in each of the five heats earned a spot in the final and Animate's victory means Lees has qualified five runners for the $400,000 race at Randwick on Saturday week.

Animate defeated the Kim Waugh-trained Oxford Tycoon by three quarters of a length with the Damien Lane-trained Oakfield Captain third.

The TAB reacted to Animate's win, with the lightly raced gelding firming from $26 to $8 on the second line of betting with the Gwenda Markwell-trained Electric Girl and Angela Davies-trained Through The Cracks.

Lees has the $4.50 favourite Asharani who won one of the qualifiers earlier in March.

The trainer also has Great Danger, Stella Sea Sun and Enchanted Heart in the final.

Since the series began in 2015, Lees has won twice, with Danish Twist in 2016 and Serene Miss in 2018.


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