Early favourite Archedemus will take his first steps towards Provincial Championships glory when the Gwenda Markwell trained five-year-old returns at Warwick Farm on Wednesday afternoon.
The Lope De Vega gelding will run first-up after a spell in the Inglis Provincial Highway (1300m) as Markwell looks to plot a path towards $500,000 Polytrack Provincial Championships final this autumn.
“He’s come back very well,” Markwell said.
Markwell is yet to decide which Championship heat she plans to target, with the series kicking off at Hawkesbury over 1400m on Sunday, February 24.
The Championships consists of five qualifiers, held at each of the state’s provincial tracks.
Kembla Grange will host the club’s heat on Saturday, March 23.
The first, second and third horses in each heat will qualify for the Championships final at Royal Randwick on The Championships Day Two.
Archedemus heads the betting in TAB early markets to take out the series at $8, alongside the Kim Waugh trained Spring Charlie.
The lightly-raced gelding raced into favouritism after a stunning victory at the Illawarra Turf Club last December where he scored by a massive 9-¼ lengths.
Markwell sent Archedemus for a short break after the win but has since given him a trial, which he won at Warwick Farm on February 4.
Chad Lever will ride Archedemus on Wednesday where the gelding is a $2.60 favourite with the TAB to return a winner.
Archedemus is one of two main hopes for Markwell’s stable set to target the Provincial series, with Mandylion also poised to target a return to the main event.
Mandylion was successful winning the Kembla qualifier twelve months ago before finishing ninth behind the Kris Lees trained Serene Miss in the final.
Markwell has also given the mare a quiet trial at Warwick Farm earlier this month.
She confirmed to The Punt over the weekend that the Provincial Championships also remained an option for Angel Of Truth, but the leading trainer was keeping her plans open with the three-year-old.
The gelding capped off another memorable afternoon at Kembla for the premiership winning trainer when he saluted on Saturday to provide Markwell with a winning treble.
- Kembla Grange Contenders
Archedemus – $8
Mandylion – $15
Angel Of Truth – $26
Sheriff – $26
Excelsior – $51
Myprayer – $101