HOME OF THE CHAMPIONS: Coffs Harbour will host the 2020 Country Championships qualifier.
HOME OF THE CHAMPIONS: Coffs Harbour will host the 2020 Country Championships qualifier. Sam Flanagan

IT'S OURS NOW: Coffs steals showpiece race from Grafton

THE Coffs Harbour Racing Club has continued their stunning rise to prominence, pinching the Country Championships qualifier from Grafton for 2020.

Grafton have hosted the Country Championships qualifier for the Northern Rivers region since the event's inception in 2015.

Coffs Harbour Racing Club CEO Tim Saladine said it's a massive feather in the cap of the local industry to attract the showpiece race.

"For Coffs Racing to host its second $150,000 race in six months is an unbelievable boost for the whole Coffs Coast community," Saladine said.

"It's great testament to the track, our staff, board and sponsors.

"Racing NSW continues to deliver with this race restricted to horses trained in the NRRA only, and guarantees the first two across the line a spot in the $500,000 final in Sydney.

"Being a Saturday in February we expect a massive crowd to attend another great social event on the Coffs calendar."   

The Country Championships series will again be run on six Sundays and two Saturdays at tracks across the state before culminating in a $500,000 final at Royal Randwick Racecourse on Saturday, April 4 2020.

The Country Championships commence with a double header on the weekend of February 15-16, with Coffs Harbour the first venue in the state to host the race in 2020.

Those horses who don't qualify directly for the final can head to the wild card race meeting in Muswellbrook on March 22.

Northern Rivers trainers will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Cathleen Rode, who won the 2017 final with gelding Free Standing. 



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