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Rather Salubrious in hunt for Country Cups Challenge Final

DS4-1948.jpgBy Jordan Gerrans

Already a Battle of the Bush champion this year, Dalby trainer David Reynolds starts his quest this week to make top mare Rather Salubrious a Country Cups Challenge Final winner as well.

In the four years the series’ have been run across the Sunshine State, there is yet to be a galloper claim both feature event for regional stables in the same year.

The bay mare was a popular BOTB winner in late June and the six-year-old heads to Yeppoon this Saturday aiming to qualify for the Country Cups Challenge Final in December.

Reynolds’ mare spent much of July and August in the paddock freshening up, with the trainer noting she would have remained spelling much longer if not for the pull to make it a bush feature double in 2021.

With in-form apprentice Wendy Peel in the saddle, Rather Salubrious will carry 63kgs around Yeppoon on Saturday over 1400 metres in an Open Handicap to land her place on George Moore Stakes Day.

Yeppoon is a fair hike from Dalby but it is all apart of the plan, according to Reynolds.

“That is the aim,” Reynolds said of getting his mare to do the BOTB and CCC double.

“She is quite within her rights to be able to do it.

“She won the Dalby Cup last start and I sort of expect her to do the same on Saturday.

“She is just so tough and versatile.

“We like the track at Yeppoon, we always set ourselves to be coming to Yeppoon as we did not want to go to a sand qualifier as the horse does not handle the sand well.”

The Reynolds and Peel partnership made a weekend of it in Central Queensland, starting three horses at Rockhampton on Thursday before heading to Yeppoon on Saturday.

The daughter of Highly Recommended has battled tendon issues since the BOTB win but the stable is hopeful she is on the right track now being five weeks between runs.

DSC-9238.jpgFollowing on from Rather Salubrious’ BOTB triumph, the Dalby horseman says the metropolitan victory has done his stable wonders, with plenty of potentially owners regularly in contact about new horses.

Just as Reynolds’ barn is on the rise, so is the fortunes of apprentice Peel.

The 28-year-old collected a Saturday metropolitan victory last Saturday at Doomben and has been picking up consistent results around the state.

“She is going outstanding at the moment, ever since that Battle of the Bush race,” Reynolds said of the hoop.

“She just keeps getting better.”

Rather Salubrious qualified for last year’s Final of the CCC, finishing third behind Mareeba marvel Paniagua, and Reynolds feels she is better placed 12 months later.

“She was a bit tired last year and this time, I have got her on the fresh side and we will keep pushing through,” he said.

“She is a quality horse and we probably have not done her justice taking her to town enough.”

The Dalby-based yard are also hopeful of having a stablemate going around at Doomben on CCC Final day as well, with My Best Effort being targeted towards the Country Stampede Final.

The four-year-old mare had no luck in her two previous qualifying attempts at Tara and Gympie and is hoping for third time lucky next month.

The Daughter of Brazen Beau, My Best Effort is a three-time winner from 16 starts.

“She will go to Chinchilla now, she went to Gympie and did not go well on the sand,” he said.

“I have never had much luck on the sand.”

Two Country Stampede qualifiers will be run this weekend – Home Hill and Barcaldine – with just one CCC qualifier at the picturesque Keppel Park racecourse.