Five days after 14 slot holders for the $1.3 million The Kosciuszko were confirmed by Racing NSW, only five slots remain open, with ticket holders quick to snap up their favoured runners for the Royal Randwick final on October 16.
Winner of the 2019 The Kosciuszko and 2021 Canberra National Sprint, Handle The Truth, was the first horse picked to contest the 1200m event, with a Jerrabomberra ticket holder snapping up the Keith Dryden trained Canberra galloper straight away.
Soon enough, 2021 Country Championships winner Art Cadeau was selected by a Warilla ticket holder, and Terry Robinson will be hoping his talented gelding can be the first horse to win the two major feature races on the NSW country calendar in the same year.
Cody Morgan has scored two slots, with former New Zealander, Edit, set to have a first-up run at Scone on September 24 before heading to the big race, while Ice In Vancouver will contest his second The Kosciuszko in as many years after finishing last in 2020.
2018 Country Championship winner, 2019 The Kosciuszko runner up and Group and Listed winner galloper, Victorem, will arguably headline the current list of runners.
The Jenny Graham trained seven-year-old is one of the most well-known NSW country gallopers, winning eight times from 25 starts, earning $1,366,000 in prizemoney during a very good career, and it is no surprise a Dubbo ticket winner came calling.
Mitchell Beer will have the lightly raced mare Sunrise Ruby stepping out after being selected by a Wallagoot ticket holder, and after a recent win and placing in town, there will be a lot of confidence building in the Albury stable.
The Tony Sergi trained Island Bay Boy is another lightly raced galloper being set for the $1.3 million race, with the Tony Sergi galloper selected by a Horsley Park ticket holder.
The Queanbeyan runner has won four times from eight starts, including a last start win in a 1200 Benchmark 75 Handicap at Queanbeyan on August 25.
Heading up north, Coffs Harbour sprinters Aheadofhistime and Plonka have been picked to race in this year’s The Kosciuszko.
The Trevor Hardy trained Aheadofhistime is a six-time winner from 25 starts and won the 1205m Daniel Baker Showcase Sprint at Coffs Harbour two starts back before a third at Eagle Farm in a 1200m Benchmark 85 at Eagle Farm on September 4.
Plonka on the other hand is a TAB Highway winner and has contested the previous two Country Championship finals, running third back in 2020 and sixth in 2021.
The Warren Gavenlock galloper is an exceptional country sprinter and returned to racing at Doomben over the weekend, finishing last, beaten less than five lengths in the RM Williams Open Quality.
At the time of publication, there were still five slot holders who had not selected a runner for The Kosciuszko yet, including two from the William Farrer Hotel at Wagga and lucky winners in Ganmain, Manly and Belmont.