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First Australian runner for Frankel

Newcastle will be the scene of the final heat of the Provincial Championship series with a strong field vying to get to the $400,000 final.

But much of Wednesday’s attention will centre on the first race on the program and the debut of two-year-old Merovee, the first of Frankel’s progeny to race in Australia.

A $1.6 million colt at the 2016 Easter Yearling Sale, Merovee is out of multiple stakes winner More Strawberries, one of several mares John Singleton sent to England to be served by the champion to southern hemisphere time.

The colt is trained by Chris Waller and raced by a syndicate of high-profile owners including Singleton, Vinery Stud, Rupert Legh and Neil Werrett.

Merovee is the $2.80 favourite for the 1200m-maiden for two-year-olds after a barrier trial win on March 13.

Waller said he was not putting any expectation or pressure on the colt.

“He is a nice three-year-old in the making,” Waller said.

“He is there for experience and will probably need the run.

“I think he is going to be a really nice three-year-old.”

Singleton also has an unraced Frankel filly out of his champion More Joyous with the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable.

The Les Tllley-trained Another Aan is the $3.50 favourite for the Provincial Championships Qualifier (1400m) over the Kris Lees-trained Beretta and Calabasas from the Kim Waugh stable.

The first three qualify for the $400,000 final at Randwick on Saturday week.

Lees won last year with Danish Twist while Paul Murray, who saddles Direct Strategy at Newcastle, took out the inaugural final with Sure And Fast in 2015.

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