Current & Past Winners

2018 Country Championship Final – Royal Randwick

Victorem went into The Country Championships as one of the least experienced contenders with just four runs under his belt but stamped himself as one to watch when he bookended the series with an impressive two-and-a-half-length win in the final. With seven weeks between the Mid North Coast Qualifier and the $500,000 final, Port Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham knew it was going to be hard to keep Victorem fit and sound but she got it right. When jockey Ben Looker squeezed Victorem through a gap on the rails he exploded and the race was all over. Favourite Don’t Give A Damn finished a gallant second while the Southern Districts pair of O’ So Hazy and Bennelong Dancer were the surprise performers, crossing the line in third and fourth place at odds of $41 and $201. It was a great result for the region, especially since legendary local broadcaster Allan Hull had the honour of calling the race.

Race Record: 1-21.51 VICTOREM 2018

2018
2017
2016
2015

2018 Winner: Victorem
2nd Don't Give A Damn
3rd O'So Hazy
Time/Track 1:21.51 (Good 4)

2017 Winner: Free Standing
2nd After All That
3rd Not For Export
Time/Track 1:26.63 (Heavy 8)

2016 Winner: Clearly Innocent
2nd Pera Pera
3rd Ever So Natural
Time/Track 1:24.52 (Soft 6)

2015 Winner: Artlee
2nd Tarangower
3rd Voodoo Lad
Time/Track 1:24.44 (Heavy)

2018 South East Country Championship Qualifier

Emotional doesn’t come close to describing the win by Kopi Luwak for trainer Danny Williams. The Goulburn trainer was widely expected to dominate the race, and he did provide the trifecta from his nine runners, but most thought hot favourite Don’t Give A Damn would coast into the Final. It wasn’t to be and Kopi Luwak, who had caused Williams to badly break his pelvis while on the comeback trail from a tendon injury, downed stablemate and last year’s winner Pumpkin Pie in a two horse duel in the final 200m. Acquittal ran third completing the Williams trifecta. Unfortunately, Kopi Luwak wasn’t able to take his place in the final after sustaining an injury and his stablemate Acquittal, third in the qualifier, is promoted into the field.

Race Record: 1:20.98 KOPI LUWAK 2018

2018
2017
2016
2015

2018 Winner: Kopi Luwak
2nd Pumpkin Pie
3rd Aquittal
Time/Track 1:20.98R (Good 4)
Location: GOULBURN

2016 Winner: Lofty’s Menu
2nd Bank on Henry
3rd Ashjata
Time/Track 1:23.20 (Soft 7)
Location: GOULBURN

2017 Winner: Pumpkin Pie
2nd Steel Frost
3rd Chaquinta
Time/Track 1:22.48 (Good 4)
Location: GOULBURN

2016 Winner: Lofty’s Menu
2nd Bank on Henry
3rd Ashjata
Time/Track 1:23.20 (Soft 7)
Location: GOULBURN

2015 Winner: Without A Shadow
2nd Just A Blur
3rd Wings
Time/Track 1:22.00 (Good)
Location: GOULBURN

2018 Hunter & North West Country Championship Qualifier

Tamworth gelding Suncraze doesn’t know anything else but how to run first and second and he kept that record intact thanks to a dazzling late spurt to claim the Scone Qualifier as most had expected. But with 100m to run the race appeared to be in last year’s winner Caerless Choice’s keeping until Suncraze, under the urgings of Corey Brown, put his mind on the job. The four-year-old now has five wins and seven seconds from 12 starts for trainer Melanie O’Gorman and has the bonus of already being a two time winner at Randwick. Caerless Choice went into the race first-up and will have improvement according to trainer Paul Messara. It was a blanket finish for third with another Tamworth galloper Unbiased getting the verdict.

Race Record: 1:21.42 CLEARLY INNOCENT 2016

2018
2017
2016
2015

2018 Winner: Suncraze
2nd Caerless Choice
3rd Unbiased
Time/Track 1:22.44 (Good 3)
Location: SCONE

2017 Winner: Caerless Choice
2nd Nic's Vendetta
3rd All Summer Long
Time/Track 1:25.56 (Heavy 8)
Location: SCONE

2016 Winner: Clearly Innocent
2nd All Summer Long
3rd Sargeant Doakes
Time/Track 1:21.42 (Good 3)
Location: SCONE

2015 Winner: Voodoo Lad
2nd Tarangower
3rd In A Wink
Time/Track 1:24.57 (Soft)
Location: TAMWORTH

2018 Southern Districts Country Championship Qualifier

Local trainer Scott Spackman took about a quarter of his stable into the Wagga qualifier and it was the most favoured of his three runners in O’ So Hazy that prevailed in a blanket finish. Ridden perfectly by Brooke Sweeney, O’ So Hazy hit the lead about 200m out and defied all challengers to give Spackman his biggest win as a trainer. In a deceptive finish for second, Albury galloper Bennelong Dancer arrived in time to snatch the other berth in the Final from another local, longshot Class Clown. Just over four lengths separated the first 15 across the line in a very competitive race.

Race Record: 1:22.81 STEAKANDBEARNAISE (NZ) 2016

2018
2017
2016
2015

2018 Winner: O' So Hazy
2nd Bennelong Dancer
3rd Class Clown
Time/Track 1:23.17 (Good 4)
Location: Wagga Wagga

2017 Winner: Lautaro
2nd Forever Newyork
3rd Challenge Accepted
Time/Track 1:24.09 (Good 3)
Location: Albury

2016 Winner:Steakandbearnaise (NZ)
2nd Mitchell Road
3rd Lord Von Costa
Time/Track 1:22.81 (Good 3)
Location: WAGGA WAGGA

2015 Winner: Loved Up
2nd Yet Tobe Convinced
3rd High Opinion
Time/Track 1:23.94 (Good)
Location: WAGGA WAGGA

2018 Mid North Coast Country Championship Qualifier

Local trainer Jenny Graham was expected to dominate the opening qualifier for 2018 at Port Macquarie and that’s exactly how it panned out. Promising three-year-old Victorem, with just four starts under his belt, was sent out the red hot favourite and after racing midfield jockey Ben Looker worked him into the clear and he exploded away for a dominant victory. Graham wasn’t done there though with Awesome Pluck, another nice three-year-old, arriving in time to book the second spot in the final at Randwick. For good measure, Graham’s third runner Portatorio finished in third place to complete a popular stable trifecta. Unfortunately, Awesome Pluck and Portatorio had to be scratched from the final so fourth placed Shelley Beach Road gained a call up for the Final  

Race Record: 1:11.75 SHEZA GYPSY 2015

2018
2017
2016
2015

2018 Winner: Victorem
2nd Awesome Pluck
3rd Portatorio
Time/Track 1:12.51 (Good 4 )
Location: Port Macquarie

2017 Winner: Cogliere
2nd Shotgun Roulette
3rd Ever So Natural
Time/Track 1:25.22 (Soft 7)
Location: TAREE

2016 Winner: Another Valley
2nd Ever So Natural
3rd Marmaduke’s Lady
Time/Track 1:24.41 (Good 4)
Location: TAREE

2015 Winner: Sheza Gypsy
2nd Explosive Scene
3rd Rinn Pierre
Time/Track 1:11.75 (Good)
Location: PORT MACQUARIE

2018 Northern Rivers Country Championship Qualifier

As he did in 2017, Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn produced an impressive, and lightly raced, winner in the shape of promising three-year-old Snitz. A long odds-on favourite, jockey Robbie Fradd placed the gelding in a midfield spot on the fence and waited for an inside run before he stretched out and ran down the leader Ferniehurst, who gave a big sight in front and earned her spot on the Final, for a widely expected win. Snitz’s stablemate Iggy The Moocher settled further back than anticipated but surged late to finish third.

Race Record: 1:21.40 Perfect Dare 2017

2018
2017
2016
2015

2018 Winner: Snitz
2nd Ferniehirst
3rd Iggy The Moocher
Time/Track 1:22.16 (Soft 5)
Location: GRAFTON

2017 Winner: Perfect Dare
2nd Free Standing
3rd Hotel Drive
Time/Track 1:21.40 (Soft 5)
Location: GRAFTON

2016 Winner: Profiler
2nd Ultimate Dreamer
3rd Legendary Luke
Time/Track 1:22.03 (Good 3)
Location: GRAFTON

2015 Winner: Redwolf
2nd Voltaire Lumiere
3rd Kareem’s Edge
Time/Track 1:22.01 (Good)
Location: GRAFTON

2018 Central Districts Country Championship Qualifier

Bathurst trainer Dean Mirfin sprung a huge surprise with Cosmologist leading all the way in very trying conditions. The lightly raced gelding, at his sixth start, was an emergency for the Qualifier but gained a spot on race morning and Mirfin elected to roll the dice instead of contesting an easier race. His front-running prowess came to the fore as, in solid rain, he proved impossible to catch with Eleanor Webster-Hawes saying both horse and rider were all out at the finish. Noel’s Gift made a late burst to claim second place and earn his spot in the Final.

Race Record: 1:22.52 BINALONG ROAD 2015

2018
2017
2016
2015

2018 Winner: Cosmologist
2nd Noel's Gift
3rd Ori On Fire
Time/Track 1:33.91 (Heavy 8)
Location: Mudgee

2017 Winner: Distinctive Look
2nd Galaxy Warrior
3rd Jar of Hearts
Time/Track 1:23.07 (Good 3)
Location: WELLINGTON

2016 Winner: Pera Pera
2nd Iron Blue
3rd Heza Thief
Time/Track 1:23.50 (Good 3)
Location: WELLINGTON

2015 Winner: Binalong Road
2nd One Last Poet
3rd Hollywood Nell
Time/Track 1:22.52 (Good)
Location: BATHURST

2018 Western Country Championship Qualifier

Local trainer Justin W Stanley took four runners into the Dubbo Qualifier and he emerged with a runner in the Final after Good Host continued his rise through the grades with a gritty win and gave jockey Jake Pracey-Holmes back to win wins after scoring on Stoneyrise in 2017. Good Host had won at a mile at Coonamble just 13 days earlier and had to call on that stamina when the Coonabarabran-trained mare Sea Lady headed him midway down the long Dubbo straight. Sea Lady made a long run out wide and the effort told as Good Host outlasted her and trainer Wayne Martyn is adamant she has what it takes to be competitive at Randwick. Incision, another of the Stanley quartet, earned a spot as an emergency as he arrived in the last stride to run third.

Race Record: 1:22.20 DANE DE LAGO 2015

2018
2017
2016
2015

2018 Winner: Good Host
2nd Sea Lady
3rd Incision
Time/Track 1:23.76 (Good 3)
Location: DUBBO

2017 Winner: Stoneyrise
2nd La La Loopsy
3rd Not For Export
Time/Track 1:22.19 (Good 3)
Location: DUBBO

2016 Winner: Something Borrowed
2nd Not A Shadow
3rd Farewell Julia
Time/Track 1:23.15 (Soft 5)
Location: DUBBO

2015 Winner: Dane De Lago
2nd Yes Zariz
3rd Playing Game
Time/Track 1:22.20 (Good)
Location: DUBBO

2018 Wildcard Country Championship Qualifier

He was favourite to win the Final before the qualifiers began but the Danny Williams-trained Don’t Give A Damn had to wait until the Wild Card to book his place after going under in the Goulburn heat. Kerrin McEvoy made a special trip to Muswellbrook to ride the gelding and he took the lead 100m after the start and didn’t look back. Don’t Give A Damn gives Williams three runners in the Final alongside Pumpkin Pie and Acquittal. Scone trainer Rod Northam has a knack of qualifying a horse and My Tagoson made a late charge to claim the second berth in the Final, snatching the spot from Vega De Lago and Ori On Fire in the last stride.

Race Record: 1:13.96 ARTLEE 2015

2018
2017
2016
2015

2018 Winner: Don't Give A Damn
2nd My Tagoson
3rd Vega De Lago
Time/Track 1:14.40 (Good 4)
Location: Muswellbrook

2017 Winner: Pelerin
2nd After All That
3rd All Summer Long
Time/Track 1:17.81 (Soft 7)
Location: SCONE

2016 Winner: Chrysolaus
2nd Ashjata
3rd Kyogle Town
Time/Track 1:15.06 (Good 3)
Location: MUSWELLBROOK

2015 Winner: Artlee
2nd Rose’s Song
3rd Because We All Can
Time/Track 1:13.96 (Good)
Location: MUSWELLBROOK