Magnalane wins Taree Championship heatSunday 23 February 2020
Port Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham has the chance to win a second Country Championship with Magnalane winning his way into the final.
Ridden by Sam Clenton, Magnalane had to overcome a wide gate and the challenge from Casino Mondial in the $150,000 qualifying heat at Taree on Sunday.
Graham won the $500,000 final in 2018 with Victorem.
"This horse had been working really well and I wsa so upset with the gate (13)," Graham told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
"I said to Sam 'we've got a good rider so do your best'.''
Clenton had Magnalane in a handy position and he hit the front early in the straight and looked headed for a comfortable win.
Casino Mondial, trained by Mike Byers, did not give and gave chase to come within a half head with his second guaranteeing him a spot in the final.
"When I hit the front I thought he was going to give me six (lengths),'' Clenton said.
"He does have a think about things but he has no gear on so going forward to the final he might need winkers or blinkers maybe."
The final is at Randwick on April 4.