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By Richard Turnbull
Racing Queensland’s new Battle of the Bush series moved to Emerald at the weekend, with the Fred Smith-trained Just Call Me Louie booking a place in the $100,000 final at Doomben in June.
Afforded a 10/10 ride by jockey Scott Sheargold, Just Call me Louie arrived late in the 1100m dash to hold off Bush Caviar and Mason’s Chance.
Just Call Me Louie drifted to the juicy odds of $7, despite being placed at Doomben just two starts prior.
He now joins the Bevan Johnson-trained Fab’s Cowboy as the first two horses to qualify for the rich final, one of the headline races on Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara day on June 23.
Cairns keeps ace up her sleeve
The Leading lady of North Queensland racing, Olivia Cairns will keep an ace up her sleeve for the Battle of the Bush final.
Stellar Knight ($4.60) defied a massive impost of 65kg when ridden by in-form apprentice Nicole Seymour to take out the Benchmark 60 Handicap over 1300m.
There was a lot to like about the win as Stellar Knight ran over the top of the Glenda Bell-trained Mono Lad ($7.00) with the grandstand rattling on his back.
Cairns will make a definite decision where Stellar Knight will try to qualify this week, having now completed the mandatory five non-TAB starts in the past 12 months in order to nominate for a qualifier.
The magic of Winx comes to Emerald
Peter Tighe, the co-owner of Winx, was at Emerald on Saturday where he gave punters a great insight into the success he has enjoyed with the wonder mare, and the pressure that comes with racing her.
Tighe said he was impressed with the near-capacity fields in each race and the camaraderie between country racing participants and the patrons on-course.
Emerald Jockey Club president Leon Roberts said: “It was a great honour to have Peter in attendance for the inaugural Battle of the Bush heat. He is looking forward to the June 23 final and hopes the Battle of the Bush becomes a permanent yearly fixture in country Queensland.”