MOUNT Isa and Dalby will be in the thick of Battle of the Bush action in Brisbane on June 22 after respective trainers Damien Finter and David Reynolds earned their tickets.
Dalby-based Reynolds saddled Music Scene, a narrow if surprise winner of the Goondiwindi qualifier on June 1 when he lowered the boom on the Bevan Johnson-trained Fab's Cowboy.
Sent to the post as a $6 shot, Music Scene (Kaphero-Smytzer's Magic) was given little real hope of toppling Fab's Cowboy (Greenwood Lake-Real Live Woman), the $2 favourite.
Yet a half length divided the pair at the finish of the 1200 metres dash with Marksfield (Chateau Istana-Imperial Way) another length further back in third spot.
Music Scene's win, his seventh in 68 assignments, has given him a starting place in the $125,000 Bush series final at Eagle Farm where he will again lock horns with the vanquished. Fab's Cowboy and Marksfield were early qualifiers after wins in Gladstone and Bundaberg.
Finter does not have a large string in work in Mt Isa and Deadly Choices (Golden Snake-Magic Idol) is relatively lightly raced with only 21 starts to his credit for a yield of six wins and seven placings over three seasons.
But he did put a good field to the sword in the Cloncurry qualifier, run in a slick 56.3 seconds for 1000m. Galea Warrior and Safdie filled the minor placings behind the winner.
Stellar Knight (Choistar-Intangible) added a Bowen qualifying victory to a prior success at Home Hill to be one of the highest rated finalists.
Trained in Mackay by Olivia Cairns, Stellar Knight was unsuccessful in the 2018 rendition of the Bush series but the trainer is adamant he is racing better than ever.
Stellar Knight beat Sweet Surprise by a nose.
Racing Queensland officials have added a final qualifier to the meeting planned for Cairns on June 10 after abandoning the scheduled Mareeba card last Saturday due to the state of the track.
The distance of the race will be amended to 1250m with prize money and race conditions remaining as was scheduled for Mareeba. In the case of a ballot being required for this race, preference will be given to those horses which had accepted for the Mareeba race.