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Trio of outsiders make Championship final

There was no place like home for Shazee Lee at Hawkesbury as the filly snapped a six-race winless streak to qualify for The Provincial Championships final at Randwick in style.

Second last heading to the 800m mark in the $150,000 feature race over 1400m on Thursday, Christian Reith guided the $21 chance clear in the home straight to overhaul Budderoo Knight ($31) to score by 1-3/4 lengths.

Although unfancied by punters, the Scott Singleton-trained three-year-old surprised Reith, in a good way.

“She does a lot wrong, runs round quite a bit, she’s quite an erratic horse but we were able to get a nice run from her,” Reith told Sky Thoroughbred Central.

“She didn’t have to go around horses, she could sit on the inside.”

Singleton was confident Shazee Lee would thrive in familiar surroundings after a last-start second at Hawkesbury n a class one race on February 21 though the heavy track was a concern.

“She ran some terrific sectionals here last start,” he said.

“It was just whether she’d do it on the wet and whether the grade mattered. She’s pretty smart.”

Singleton said a discussion with his trackwork rider brother set up an inconsistent Shazee Lee for a crack at the $400,000 Provincial Championships finale on April 8.

“We were a bit disappointed in her three races ago and my brother is a terrific work rider said ‘this thing works like a Group horse so let’s put our heads down and try and get it right’,” Singleton said.

“We just decided to go back and ride her quiet, I think that’s made the difference the last two starts.”

Co-trainers Luke and Robert Price have two runners in the final after Budderoo Knight ($31) joined Noble Joey – the winner at the Wyong qualifier last Thursday – thanks to a trouble-free trip.

“He’s one of those little horses, he can be extremely field shy, it doesn’t take much of a bump to lose his concentration,” Robert Price said.

The five-year-old gelding finished a neck ahead of the third qualifier for the final, the Jason Attard-trained Reiby Rampart ($17).

The next Provincial Championships qualifier is at Gosford on March 15. Kembla Grange and Newcastle follow on March 23 and 29 respectively.

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