MANNING Valley Race Club has been approved by Racing NSW to hold the $150,000 Mid North Coast Qualifier in the $1.5 million Newhaven Park Country Championship Series at Taree's Bushland Drive Racecourse on February 20.
It is the second year in succession that the club has been chosen for the exciting race over 1400m.
The qualifier was won by Taree's "new find", mare Charmmebaby, trained by Bob Milligan, it then placing third in the $500,000 final at Royal Randwick in April.
Charmmebaby put the icing on the cake by scoring in the $100,000 Stacks Law Firm Taree Cup on November 21.
The five-year-old bought for $14,000 took her prizemoney to $321,555 in 23 starts.
The country series has been a boon for country racing and has resulted in many good gallopers being found.
Each year country trainers look forward to finding out if they have a galloper capable of being in the series and aim them for the heats to qualify.
A number of local trainers are in the process of getting their charges ready after signalling their intention to "have a go".
This year the qualifiers will be run on six Sundays and two Saturdays before culminating in the $500,000 final at Royal Randwick on April 2, day one of The Star Championships.
For the first time,the Wild Card race meeting is scheduled for Scone Racecourse on Sunday, March 20,
The race distance will be 1400m,previous late qualifiers competed over 1280m at Muswellbrook Racecourse.
First of the qualifiers kick off on Saturday,February 12,with the Northern Rivers Association race at Coffs Harbour.
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