Winter Country Classic final headlines Dubbo meeting

The Paul Clisby-trained Bondadosa is the current favourite for Sunday’s Winter Country Classic final at Dubbo. Photo: Racing Photography.

Dubbo Turf Club will host another entertaining eight-race-program on Sunday that has attracted 123 acceptances.

The program is headlined by the $32,000 Dubbo RSL Winner Country Classic final, which will be run and won as a Benchmark 58 Handicap over 1310m.

12 gallopers qualified for the event during the two heats that were held at Dubbo on June 10, with the Paul Clisby-trained Bondadosa ($17) winning the fillies and mares race, while the Gavin Groth-trained Foreign Brother ($26) won the colts and gelding qualifier. 

As a result, Bondadosa is favourite ($4) in an open field after drawing gate one and attracting the services of three-kilogram claiming apprentice Anna Roper.  

The three-year-old filly won her maiden for Jason Clisby at Hawkesbury back in May. 

Following a five-week freshen-up and a transfer to Paul Clisby’s name, the Press Statement filly flashed down the outside in her heat to win remarkably easy, beating the Brett Cavanough-trained Schiller’s Mist by 3.87 lengths, while in third was the Mary Moses-trained Justfour. 

Schiller’s Mist won’t contest the final, but Justfour ($5) is third favourite and with Kody Nestor in the saddle, the consistent three-year-old filly will have every chance. 

In the colts and geldings heat, it was a good front-running steer by Matty Palmer that helped Foreign Brother to a tough win from the fast-finishing Dubai Centre from the John Rolfe yard, while in third was the Bob Howe trained Petain. 

Foreign Brother ($4.40) has drawn gate eight and Palmer again jumps aboard in Dubbo’s feature race. 

Dubai Centre ($5.50) is justifiably well in the market after the four-year-old’s dashing second place finish, while Mick Heagney is again in the saddle. 

No Debt ($6.50) from the Brett Robb yard is also well in the market after finishing fifth to Foreign Brother, and the Dubbo galloper will no doubt be getter for the run and with Clayton Gallagher in the saddle, it is hard to look past the four-year-old, that has won three times and placed on a further 10 occasions in 17 starts. 

For full fields click here.

Tips, trials and tribulations

Race 1: Best Bet – 1 ‘Cheap Shot ’, Best Value – 7 ‘Adelsun’

Cheap Shot ($2.40) debuts here in the 1110m Maiden Plate from the strong Gayna Williams yard. 

The three-year-old trialled well late last month at Bathurst, finishing fourth behind tried horses when only beaten 1.4 lengths over 1000m. 

There is already good money for the youngster, and he looks hard to beat. 

Race 2: Best Bet – 6 ‘Tyquendo’, Best Value –1 ‘Down To Earth’

Tyquendo ($2.50) in first up from a 167-day spell but being from the Tracey Bartley yard and with Aaron Bullock on board, he garners some respect in the 1110m Maiden Plate.

The three-year-old is still a maiden after seven starts but he hasn’t been beaten too far in better maiden company and Bartley looks to be out for an easy kill in this event. 

Race 3: Best Bet – 5 ‘Gallant Star’, Best Value – 7 ‘Hiraishin’

The David Ringland and Kerry O’Keeffe-owned and Brett Robb-trained Gallant Star ($1.85) was impressive on debut, winning by 4.27 lengths in the 1110m Silver Goblet. 

The two-year-old is second up and draws gate one in the 1110m Class One Handicap and he looks hard to topple.

Race 4: Best Bet – 12 ‘Dunlee’, Best Value – 13 ‘Talkachino’

The Nikki Pollock-trained Dunlee ($6.50) strikes me as a genuine stayer and this 2200m Benchmark 58 Handicap looks a good race for him. 

The five-year-old is still a maiden, but a last-start third over 2000m at Wyong indicates the Dissident gelding will enjoy the extra furlong. 

Race 5: Best bet – 1 ‘Bondadosa’, Best value 6 ‘Dubai Centre’

Bondadosa ($4) was ultra-impressive winning her 1310m Benchmark 58 Handicap heat on June 10 and she gets in nicely with 59kg and gate one in the final, which is the same grade and distance.

If the Paul Clisby galloper repeats that effort, it’s hard seeing her getting beat in this race. 

Race 6: Best Bet – 2 ‘Scorched Land’, Best Value – 6 ‘Martian Queen’

There looks to be some genuine early speed in this 1610m Benchmark 66 Handicap event, and it could suit Scorched Land ($3.40), which should get a soft run in behind the early speed battle from gate four. 

The Todd Howlett runner is fit and firing following a good second at Taree and in-form hoop Ash Morgan takes the ride. 

Race 7: Best Bet – 4 ‘Wasserman’, Best Value – 7 ‘Antarctic Pride’

Wasserman ($5) caught the eye last start when finishing third over 1310m at Dubbo and the Gayna Williams gallopers looks to be knocking on the door of a maiden win in this 1410m Maiden Handicap. 

Gate 12 is the worry, but Grant Buckley takes the ride, and he should give the three-year-old every chance possible in the wide-open race.

Race 8: Best Bet – 9 ‘Possibly So’, Best Value – 12 ‘Hammoon Sweetheart’

Possibly So ($4.80) was an impressive maiden winner at Dubbo over 1310m on June 10 and the step up in distance in this 1410m Class Two Handicap looks to suit. 

This is a big class ride, but the Star Witness gelding has obvious ability and Anthony Cavallo has chosen to stay in the saddle.