The 2019 TAB Battle of the Bush series got underway at the Gladstone Turf Club on April 20 and will again feature 16 qualifiers across the state over the next two months.
Booking an early barrier was the Bevan Johnson trained Fab's Cowboy which is the first horse through to qualify for the 2019 Battle of the Bush final at Eagle Farm in June.
The seven-year-old made it career win number 29 when he bolted away to a four-length victory in the feature event.
Fab's Cowboy has now started on the Gladstone track five times for five wins and finished in a time of 1:10.73, a fraction outside of his record-breaking effort of 1:10.61 in 2018.
Last year Fab's Cowboy was the first to qualify in the Battle of the Bush series last year at Cunnamulla.
Trainer, Bevin Johnson said he was hoping for a better barrier draw this time when he heads to Eagle Farm this time.
" Last year he drew the outside barrier in the final race and carried the Doomben grandstand on his back," Mr Johnson said.
"We will contest a couple of of the Battle of the Bush qualifiers as I am looking to have two starters in the main race."
Owner Paul Currin is upbeat about his chances in the 2019 edition despite beating just the two home at Doomben last year.
"He was eight or nine races in when the Battle of the Bush was announced so I think we worked out the Battle of the Bush would've been his 17th run that prep."
"Obviously depending on how he's going, he'll have a little freshen up before the final this year, but we'll just see how he goes."
Fab's Cowboy was one of two horses Bevan Johnson had fill the placings at Gladstone. His eight-year-old mare Exstratum run third behind second placegetter Malibu Affair.
Malibu Affair is trained by Craig Smith in Roma, and was runner-up to Fab's Cowboy for the second time in as many runs.
All 16 qualifiers get the chance to compete in a thrilling finale at the home of Queensland racing on Group 1 Sky Racing Tattersall's Tiara Day, rubbing shoulders with some of Australian racing's biggest names during the TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.
Racing Queensland's CEO Brendan Parnell said they are committed to providing more opportunities for country racing participants to experience the thrill of racing for high stakes alongside some of Australian racing's biggest names.
"The inaugural TAB Battle of the Bush Series was a game changer, not just for participants and owners, but for racing fans across Queensland who followed their favourite country trainer or horse throughout the series to the final," Mr Parnell said.
The Cunnamulla Race race meeting scheduled for Thursday April 25, featuring the Battle of the Bush Qualifier, has been postponed to Friday May 24, 2019.
Over 50mm of rainfall has been recorded at the Cunnamulla track in the past day, making the track unsuitable for racing.