The Mackay trained galloper, Mason’s Chance, has travelled a massive 4600 kilometres across country Queensland to finally get his start in the $100,000 Battle of the Bush series at Doomben on June 23.
After running third in qualifying races at Emerald, Bowen and Thangool and then a second to his stable mate Stellar Knight at Home Hill, the four-year-old gelding won the final qualifying leg at Barcaldine last Saturday, much to the delight of his connections.
Mason’s Chance is trained by Olivia Cairns and was ridden by Stanley Watkins. He won by one and three quarters length ahead of Hot Vinni, trained by Ben Waldron, and Tycoon Zip trained by Shane Smith.
His win now gives Ms Cairns the only trainer to have two winners automatically qualified to start in the Doomben showdown.
“It really is a nice feeling and it will be a massive day,” Ms Cairns said.
“We will travel Mason’s Chance and Stellar Knight to Doomben, the week before.
“They are both similar in type, and it is hard to split them as they are both tough and honest gallopers.”
The Battle of the Bush series has made headlines across the state since it launched on Anzac Day at Cunnamulla Diggers Races.
There are now 15 individual winners with Man Around Town winning both qualifiers at Gordonvale and Atherton.
“This has allowed the second placegetter at Atherton, Big Tomee, into the final field,” Racing Queensland non TAB racing manager Col Truscott said.
“The second placegetter to Man Around Town at Gordonvale was Gingersnap who has since won a qualifier at Bowen.”
Horses placed second and third in qualifying races are also eligible to nominate for a start in the race and this will be decided by Racing Queensland through a ballot selection.
Racing Queensland will offer float subsidies for qualifying trainers of up to $2000 to help cover the cost of the journey to Brisbane for the final.
Dedicated country racing followers have been able to watch the colour and tight finishes of the qualifying races via the Facebook country racing broadcast “On the Bit”.