Last Regional Golden Ticket On Offer At Coonamble (Sun, 17th Mar)

Coonamble’s Newhaven Park Western Country Championships on Sunday represents the last of the regional qualifying races to snare a ‘golden ticket’ to Royal Randwick.

The winner and runner-up in the $150,000 event gain a berth in the $1 million Final (1400m) at headquarters on Saturday 6 April.

Listen to the Band (Jake Pracey-Holmes) takes out last year’s Newhaven Park Western Country Championships at Coonamble. Image by Janian McMillan (Racing Photography)

The two other remaining chances for a spot in the Final are on Friday week with the $150,000 Northern Wildcard at Scone (1400m) followed by the $150,000 Southern Wildcard at Goulburn (1400m) two days later.

Coonamble will be hosting their fifth Western Country Championships having provided last year’s shock Final winner when Sizzle Minizzle claimed the race at Randwick as a $61 chance.

The horse had gained his position in the Final by finishing second at Coonamble behind the talented but injury-plagued galloper Listen to the Band.

That horse went amiss after that victory but is expected to line up in Sunday’s Coonamble qualifier in his first start for 12 months, having trialled well at Dubbo on Friday.

A winner of five races from just nine starts the nine-year-old will be partnered by Jake Pracey-Holmes who knows the horse well, with the gelding currently listed as a $26 on TAB for the Final.

Ana Robson, Coonamble Jockey Club’s secretary said: “We are excited to be hosting our Country Championships for the fifth time.

“We’ll feature a fashion parade of local designers – last year we brought a fashion parade into the mix, and it was such a hoot that we’re bringing it back this year!

“Hitting the runway will be some of our fab local designers and boutiques showing off their new season goodies.

“To celebrate we are running on St Patrick’s Day so there will be a fun ‘St Patrick’s Day’ category.

“We have a new president this year in Danny Keady after our previous boss Ken Waterford stepped down after six very successful years.

“And not forgetting our main sponsors Nutrien Ag Solutions, Inland Petroleum and QUBE Agri.

“Our other loyal sponsors are Dad & Dave Turf and Evergreen Turf, Elite Sand & Soil, Southern Cross Turf, Swanny’s Foods, Woodhams Petroleum Services, Coonamble Ag Spray & Hire, Regional Insurance Services, Batterline Earthmoving and of course, Newhaven Park.”

Broken Hill race the day prior with their big St Patrick’s Day meeting featuring the $25,000 Clubs NSW/Keno Outback Cup (1600m).

“St Pat’s is the premier race meeting in outback NSW,” said the club’s Lynette Bent.

“We welcome a large crowd that flocks here in March for our eight-race program with $112,000 in prizemoney up for grabs.

“On track we have a hotly contested Fashions on the Field competition, TAB facilities and gourmet food options as well as a variety of entertainment.

“The raceday is the feature in a week-long calendar of events in Broken Hill from fashion parades to greyhound racing; there is something to cater for everyone.

“Set on a picturesque outback backdrop, our calendar of events provides the ultimate outback experience without traveling too far off the beaten track.”

Sunday is ‘Recovery Day’ at Silverton Hotel hosted by Paul McGrath with Fire Bucket playing live from midday with free buses running from the Visitor Information Centre.

– Racing NSW

Share this article