Kingsbrae Di to defend Country Challenge crown
KINGSBRAE Di is back on track to defend her Greyhound Association NSW Country Challenge title after a late scratching gave her a berth in this afternoon's $5070 qualifying final at Border Park %Raceway. Trained at Casino by Charlie Northfield, the 30-month-old black/white bitch was nudged into third place in last Saturday's heats after a good start, but was given a new life for today's final with the withdrawal of Jet's Rebel (No.7). Contenders for the Country Challenge, accumulate points from performances over 28 events held state-wide, and the greyhound with the highest overall points total is awarded the title plus a $10,000 bonus. The best-eight performed greyhounds from the entire series, worth $170,000 all-up, will be invited to contest the Country Challenge Showdown at Wentworth Park in Sydney in July 2008. Tweed Heads secretary Steve McGrath said the event was a highlight of the racing calendar at Tweed Heads. "Last year's race was well attended and the standard of greyhounds was terrific, especially since the winner here, Kingsbrae Di, went on to win the overall series," McGrath said. "This year interest in the whole Country Challenge concept has grown." Kingsbrae Di's biggest challenge today will come from the youngster of the field, 22-month-old black bitch Lucky Fina (No.5). In only her second appearance on the Tweed, the Michael Landrigan-trained Grafton youngster clocked a very fast 23.30sec in her heats, .01sec better than Kingsbrae Di's best effort, set in June. Lucky Fina has been out of a place only once from 18 career starts, which have netted 10 wins, five second and a third placing. Kingsbrae Di, the senior runner in the field, has a 2-2-3 result from 11 starts at Border Park and 38-22-11 overall from 104 career outings. Heat winners Run Jake Run (23.52sec) and Leica Picture (23.84sec) will start from boxes six and four respectively.