Past Winners

Country Championship Final – Royal Randwick

Clearly Innocent Rules The Country Championships in 2016. Despite a setback just 24 hours earlier, Clearly Innocent strode away with the $400,000 Country Championships Final at Royal Randwick on Day 1 of The Championships. The Greg Bennett-trained four-year-old was in doubt on the Friday before the race after his trainer reported to stewards that Clearly Innocent was being monitored for stone bruises to it’s off fore hoof. But Clearly Innocent’s was passed fit to start on Saturday morning and with Tommy Berry in the saddle was too classy for the big field, defeating Pera Pera by 2.5 lengths with Ever So Natural in third.

Race Record: 1-24.44 ARTLEE 2015


2016 Winner: Clearly Innocent
2nd Pera Pera
3rd Ever So Natural
Time/Track 1:24.52 (Soft 6)

2015 Winner: Artlee
2nd Tarangower
3rd Voodoo Lad
Time/Track 1:24.44 (Heavy)

South East Country Championship Qualifier

Pumpkin Pie justified her intense favouritism with a dominant win for trainer Danny Williams at her home track. With Jay Ford aboard, she overcame a wide barrier to reach the finishing post at Goulburn one and a half lengths ahead of her nearest rival. Anne-Marie Ruttley’s Steel Frost chased hard for second place and will also represent Goulburn in the final.

Race Record: 1:22.00 WITHOUT A SHADOW 2015


2017 Winner: Pumpkin Pie
2nd Steel Frost
3rd Chaquinta
Time/Track 1:22.48 (Good 4)
Location: GOULBURN

2016 Winner: Lofty’s Menu
2nd Bank on Henry
3rd Ashjata
Time/Track 1:23.20 (Soft 7)
Location: GOULBURN

2015 Winner: Without A Shadow
2nd Just A Blur
3rd Wings
Time/Track 1:22.00 (Good)
Location: GOULBURN

Hunter & North West Country Championship Qualifier

A plan that had been 12 months in the planning came to fruition when the Greg Bennett trained Clearly Innocent (Tommy Berry) stormed down the outside to win the Hunter and North West Country Championship Qualifier (1400m) at Scone.
The Bennett trained All Summer Long (Blake Shinn) finished second, beaten one and a quarter lengths and both horses have qualified for the final at Randwick on April 2.

Race Record: 1:21.42 CLEARLY INNOCENT 2016


2016 Winner: Clearly Innocent
2nd All Summer Long
3rd Sargeant Doakes
Time/Track 1:21.42 (Good 3)
Location: SCONE

2015 Winner: Voodoo Lad
2nd Tarangower
3rd In A Wink
Time/Track 1:24.57 (Soft)
Location: TAMWORTH

Southern Districts Country Championship Qualifier

The unusually named Steakandbearnaise made a name for himself when he won the $100,000 Country Championships Qualifier for Brett Cavanough.
Apprentice Kayla Nisbet rode a superbly judged race on Steakandbearnaise who ran down a very game Mitchell Road ($21) to win by a half-length.

Race Record: 1:22.81 STEAKANDBEARNAISE (NZ) 2016


2016 Winner:Steakandbearnaise (NZ)
2nd Mitchell Road
3rd Lord Von Costa
Time/Track 1:22.81 (Good 3)

2015 Winner: Loved Up
2nd Yet Tobe Convinced
3rd High Opinion
Time/Track 1:23.94 (Good)

Mid North Coast Country Championship Qualifier

Cogliere booked a trip to Royal Randwick for him and his large group of excited owners with a thrilling win in the MNCRA Country Championships Heat at Taree. Apprentice Andrew Adkins piloted the horse to victory for Port Macquarie trainer, Marc Quinn, edging out Shotgun Roulette by half a length.  

Race Record: 1:11.75 SHEZA GYPSY 2015


2017 Winner: Cogliere
2nd Shotgun Roulette
3rd Ever So Natural
Time/Track 1:25.22 (Soft 7)
Location: TAREE

2016 Winner: Another Valley
2nd Ever So Natural
3rd Marmaduke’s Lady
Time/Track 1:24.41 (Good 4)
Location: TAREE

2015 Winner: Sheza Gypsy
2nd Explosive Scene
3rd Rinn Pierre
Time/Track 1:11.75 (Good)

Northern Rivers Country Championship Qualifier

Perfect Dare secured the first place in the 2017 Country Championships final with a runaway victory for trainer Matthew Dunn in the Grafton heat. Under the guidance of jockey Jim Byrne, the gelding kicked away in the straight to win by five lengths, breaking the course record for 1400m. Outside chance Free Standing put in a strong run for second and also qualified for the final.

Race Record: 1:21.40 Pumpkin Pie 2017


2016 Winner: Perfect Dare
2nd Free Standing
3rd Hotel Drive
Time/Track 1:21.40 (Soft 5)
Location: GRAFTON

2016 Winner: Profiler
2nd Ultimate Dreamer
3rd Legendary Luke
Time/Track 1:22.03 (Good 3)
Location: GRAFTON

2015 Winner: Redwolf
2nd Voltaire Lumiere
3rd Kareem’s Edge
Time/Track 1:22.01 (Good)
Location: GRAFTON

Central Districts Country Championship Qualifier

THE Mack Griffith-trained Pera Pera has confirmed himself as a contender for the Country Championship crown after taking out the Central Districts Qualifier (1400m) at Wellington.

Pera Pera entered the $100,00 event race as favourite and he didn't let the wide draw trouble him as jockey Aaron Bullock immediately got towards the front and then showed all his class down the home straight as he went on to win by one-and-a-third lengths.

Race Record: 1:22.52 BINALONG ROAD 2015


2016 Winner: Pera Pera
2nd Iron Blue
3rd Heza Thief
Time/Track 1:23.50 (Good 3)

2015 Winner: Binalong Road
2nd One Last Poet
3rd Hollywood Nell
Time/Track 1:22.52 (Good)
Location: BATHURST

Western Country Championship Qualifier

Stoneyrise caused a major upset in the Dubbo heat of the Country Championships, surging home to snatch victory from odds on favourite, La La Loopsy. The gelding, trained by James Hatch at his cattle station on the Queensland border, won thousands of admirers with his performance. La La Loopsy’s trainer, Peter Nestor, has now qualified a runner in every Country Championships final since its inception.

Race Record: 1:22.20 DANE DE LAGO 2015


2017 Winner: Stoneyrise
2nd La La Loopsy
3rd Not For Export
Time/Track 1:22.19 (Good 3)
Location: DUBBO

2016 Winner: Something Borrowed
2nd Not A Shadow
3rd Farewell Julia
Time/Track 1:23.15 (Soft 5)
Location: DUBBO

2015 Winner: Dane De Lago
2nd Yes Zariz
3rd Playing Game
Time/Track 1:22.20 (Good)
Location: DUBBO

Wildcard Country Championship Qualifier

There was barely a dry eye among the connections of Chrysolaus after he won the $50,000 Country Championships Wild Card race at Muswellbrook.
The four-year-old grey was owned by country racing stalwart John Clift, but when he died in February the horse was passed on to the family.
“There were a few tears after the win, it was emotional,” said trainer Jane Clement. “It was a great day and it gives me a bit of confidence when you win a race like that.”

Race Record: 1:13.96 ARTLEE 2015


2016 Winner: Chrysolaus
2nd Ashjata
3rd Kyogle Town
Time/Track 1:15.06 (Good 3)

2015 Winner: Artlee
2nd Rose’s Song
3rd Because We All Can
Time/Track 1:13.96 (Good)