Saturday’s round of the Battle Of The Bush Series at Lee Park is shaping up to be as gripping as last year’s edition.
Peter Moody, an ambassador for some of the $10,000 Qualifiers and the $125,000 Final at Eagle Farm on 22 June, will be trackside for the South East Region’s only heat to be decided on grass.
In the corresponding Nanango event twelve months ago, the Glenn Richardson trained Canid edged out his stablemate Revelio and Phyllis Kalinowski’s charge Go Get Sum, the Exceedingly Good gelding that went on to fill third place in the rich finale at Doomben on Tatt’s Tiara Day.
Brian and Darren Laherty’s handy mare Machu Picchu, the Nanango sprinter whose recent Warwick success cemented a place in the Final, is chasing the more than handy prizemoney associated with Saturday’s Qualifier.
Should the consistent six-year-old triumph again in this leg, either Drum Master, the Warwick runner-up or the second placegetter at Lee Park would progress to the final.
The slot occupancy will come down to the one with the higher rating.
There are ten aspiring acceptors at Nanango that are equal to or better than Drum Master’s mark of 61.
Baker Boy, the 2018 Nanango Qualifier favourite, ran sixth in that Lee Park race, beaten by only three parts of a length.
Gatton mentor Brenton Andrew is having another crack with the Statue of Liberty (USA) gelding on Saturday. The eight-year-old warmed up to his task with a third to Machu Picchu at Warwick.
Richardson, who saddled up a trio a year back, is set to have the same chore again.
Although Canid was the first reserve, the old boy got a spot because Gendbien appears headed for the Thangool Qualifier.
Canid’s stablemates Schindler and Avalanche Warning are assured of their opportunities this weekend.
Music Scene, the fourth horse home in the Warwick leg, has been paid up for Nanango and Friday’s matching contest at Cunnamulla.
David Reynolds has Tapestry Vision, seventh in at Charleville, booked for the Lee Park heat.
The high level of competition in the Battle Of The Bush series is indicated by all the manoeuvres made by connections to clinch a final’s berth.
By accepting at a couple of venues, trainers can try to select their better option.
While Nanango Race Club’s premiership winners for jockeys and trainers seem to be cut and dried for the 2018-2019 racing season, the Horse Of The Year title is still up for grabs.
The leader board going into the last day for the racing year at Lee Park reads as follows:
Horse Of The Year:
Hannah Phillips has the number of bookings required to have a chance to win but she needs to boot home at least four winners.
Cherie Vick, with three representatives, has a monumental job ahead of her.
Bevan Johnson has the numbers too, but he needs four winners on the day.
In the absence of Dabke, a success by Lil Ruby Rose or Music Scene would lift them up past the Jim Hanna trained galloper in the quest for honours.