The biggest country racing roadshow came to Goulburn on Saturday 24th February when Goulburn Race Club hosted Heat 2 of the Country Championships Qualifying Series, a race worth $150 000.
On a day that promised plenty on paper the reality more than matched the hype. Local trainers delivered strong results for their followers, snaring three of the eight races on the program.
The feature race was dominated by the prodigious Danny Williams stable with its talented “problem child” galloper Kopi Luwak (ridden by Mitchell Bell) beating home two stablemates to deliver a local trifecta.
Kopi Luwak is a horse that always promised plenty but had its early racing career curtailed by a severe leg injury. It was a victory for Williams to just get the horse back to the races, let alone win a Country Championships Qualifier on his home track.
Last year’s race winner Pumpkin Pie was brave as runner up with Acquittal rounding out the trifecta for the Williams’ yard in third place. Demonstrating the quality of the race this year the winner broke a nine-year old track record for the 1400m, running a time of 1.20.98.
The Goulburn trainer and his horses now looks set for a genuine crack at the half a million dollars on offer in The Country Championships Final at Royal Randwick on April 7.
Making it an even bigger day for Goulburn trainers, local mare Can She Kiss continued her sweet vein of form, notching her third win on the trot in Race 6 whilst El Mo made it a winning double on the day for the Danny Williams team by taking out Race 5 as the short priced favourite.
The atmosphere on track matched the warm day with patrons also participating in some strong Fashions On The Field events and embracing the Country Championships concept as a local event. Goulburn has now hosted the Country Championships in four consecutive years.
Local business Antony & Edwards Real Estate were a major sponsor of the day with Twinstar Racing (Emma & Lucy Longmire) also throwing its support behind the Fashion On The Field.
Goulburn Race Club CEO Robyn Fife was buoyed by results on the day.
“We love seeing local horses and trainers do well in front of a good crowd.”
“The Country Championships is a great concept that helps our club strengthen its relationship with Racing NSW and the other race clubs who host qualifying heats in NSW.”
“The club and its directors wish Danny Williams and his owners the very best of luck in the Country Championships final on April 7 at Royal Randwick.”
Photo Credit: Leanne Snow Photography