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By Kobie O'Brien
A huge crowd has turned out at Ferguson Park in Gladstone to see Fab’s Cowboy become the first horse through to the 2019 Battle of the Bush final at Eagle Farm.
The seven-year-old made it win number 29 when he careered away to a four-length victory in the feature event on Easter Saturday.
The bush champion made light work of them in the end, taking advantage of the set-weights conditions to complete the demolition job in a time of 1:10.73, a fraction outside of his record-breaking effort of 1:10.61 in 2018. There is to be no repeat of last year however with connections adamant he will be right for the ‘grand final’ this time around.
Owner Paul Currin is upbeat about his chances in the 2019 edition despite beating just the two home at Doomben last year.
“He was 8 or 9 races in when the Battle of the Bush was announced so I think we worked out the Battle of the Bush would’ve been his 17th run that prep.”
“Obviously depending on how he’s going he’ll have a little freshen up before the final this year but we’ll just see how he goes.”
Currently one of the best horses in the state form-wise, the stable hasn’t ruled out chasing the lucrative prize money on offer in North Queensland during carnival time providing he performs well at Eagle Farm.
“After the Battle of the Bush we wouldn’t mind trying to sneak up the coast and target the (Rockhampton and Mackay) Newmarkets and Cleveland Bay.” Currin said.
Keeping in mind, the prolific winner is yet to win a provincial race despite being placed at metropolitan level.
Not to be deterred by that statistic, Currin simply responded with ‘we just enjoy winning.”
Fab’s Cowboy was one of two horses Bevan Johnson had fill the placings in the first of 16 qualifiers with eight-year-old mare Exstratum running third behind Craig Smith’s Malibu Affair, who was runner-up to Fab’s Cowboy for the second time in as many runs.
The next Battle of the Bush qualifier will be held on Thursday the 25th of April at Cunnamulla.