Locals draw well for country qualifier at Grafton
BALLINA and Lismore runners in Sunday's $150,000 Northern Rivers Racing Association Country Championships Qualifier at Grafton have drawn well in the 1400m feature race.
There is also a six-race program at the Ballina Jockey Club TAB meeting tomorrow in a big weekend of Northern Rivers racing.
Ballina trainers Steve Phelps and Stephen Lee have a runner each in the country qualifier tomorrow with Viking Raid drawing ideally in barrier two for Lees while Kitteau jumps from barrier seven for Phelps.
Queen of Kingston, prepared by Daniel Bowen at Lismore, has drawn beside Kitteau in eight and will be ridden by Ben Looker.
A five-year-old daughter of Nicconi, Queen of Kingston is coming off a last start third to Phelps' General Nelson at Ballina.
She has won five of her 15 starts for more than $82,000 in prizemoney and is unbeaten at Grafton, winning two from two on the big, roomy track.
Viking Raid has also had two starts at Grafton but the four-year-old gelding son of Helmet has finished unplaced there both times.
He has won two of his 13 starts and amassed almost $50,000 in prizemoney.
He is coming off a last start third at Ipswich which in turn was coming off a six-week freshen.
Robbie Fradd will ride him Sunday while Luke Rolls has the ride on Kitteau.
He has ridden Kitteau his last three starts, winning twice at Ballina on the five-year-old gelding son of Beneteau, but he is yet to run on the more spacious Grafton.
He has won three of his 18 starts for $82,475 in prizemoney.
Father-daughter team Greg and Leah Kilner also hope to qualify She's Choosie.
The three-year-old has won five of her 15 starts but has to overcome a widish draw (13) for Leah and Greg.
Greg has great faith in his daughter, though.
She's Choosie is 64-year-old Greg's first country championships runner and he feels she has had a smooth preparation and is ready to prove herself at 1400m.
First and second in the Grafton qualifier earn a spot in the $500,000 Newhaven Park Country Championships Final (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 6.