EYES ON THE PRIZE: Murwillumbah’s Matthew Dunn is eyeing up a run in the Country Champs qualifier.
EYES ON THE PRIZE: Murwillumbah’s Matthew Dunn is eyeing up a run in the Country Champs qualifier. Scott Powick

Excitement growing for Northern Rivers qualifier

COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS: With the Northern Rivers Country Championships qualifier just over a week away the potential field is becoming clearer and the excitement is growing for Clarence River Jockey Club CEO Michael Beattie.

"It is exciting times for the CRJC, and more so exciting times for the whole Northern Rivers region," Beattie said.

"It is really good that we are going into the second year of the Country Championships.

"In all honesty, I am probably more excited by the prospect of this weeks racing then I was for last years event.

"The idea by Racing NSW to move the Country Championships from a midweek fixture to the weekend allows more punters to get out to see what the horses offer."

The Northern Rivers qualifier will be hosted by the Clarence River Jockey Club on March 6 in conjunction with the annual Blues, Brews and BBQ Race Day and the Yamba Cup.

"For us to be able to partner it with the already popular Blues, Brews and BBQ Day means it should be a great event and draw a large crowd," he said.

Beattie suggested there were a few trainers already aiming their stable toward the regional qualifier with Northern Rivers heavy weights Matthew Dunn and Jim Jarvis likely to enter.

"Matthew Dunn is likely to enter his horse that won in Brisbane last Saturday and won its last two race starts, Quatronic," Beattie said.

"Also the early indication is that Stephen Lee will enter Voltaire Lumiere, who was a close runner up in last year's Northern Rivers qualifier.

"Those two horses alone will create enormous interest, and then you add to that the very smart Ultimate Dreamer, and it is becoming a very exciting field."

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