Dale's Triple Attack On Country Championships

Feb 18, 2016

Matthew Dale is aiming to be the first trainer to qualify a horse for the Country Championships Final with a three-pronged attack at Goulburn on Saturday.

Matthew Dale will saddle up three runners in the Goulburn Country Championship Qualifier. Photo by Racing and Sports

Matthew Dale will saddle up Northern Fury, Hermosa Beach and Karakuchi line in the first heat of teh Country Championships series.

Dale has set all three for the $100,000 race, but says they will probably only have one chance to make the final.

“I don’t think I’ll send any of them to the Wild Card race at Muswellbrook on March 27] because it’s an awkward time-frame for them in their preparations,” he said.

“There’s no clear pick between them either.”

Hermosa Beach Horseform is the equal $11 favourite on TAB fixed-odds to take out the final on day one of The Championships at Royal Randwick, but will have to finish in the top two at Goulburn to qualify.

“She’s sharpened up nicely and is coming back from 1500 metres, and she’s won at the track and is good over 1400 metres so she ticks a lot of boxes going into this,” Dale said.

Northern Fur is a $26 chance to win the $400,000 Final and despite coming off a sixth place finish at Canterbury Park last start, Dale said the tight-turning track brought her undone and she would find her best form again at Goulburn. Karakuchi Horseform ($15 for the Final) has performed well in city-class racing before and despite having to carry 57kg compared to the her two stablemate’s 54kg, she’s got the class edge of most of her rivals.

Most recently the mare stormed home for third at her last start at Canberra.

“It was her first time with the tongue tie on and she just dropped out a bit after the start,” Dale said.

“She couldn’t get a clear run in the straight but she made up a lot of ground and hit the line very hard and the 1400 metres is her distance.

“She’s a more seasoned mare than the other two so she deserves to carry the extra weight.”