WINNING CONNECTIONS: Five-year-old gelding Profiler won the $100,000 Northern Rivers Racing Association Country Championships Regional Qualifier (1400m) at Clarence River Jockey Club in Grafton on March 6.
WINNING CONNECTIONS: Five-year-old gelding Profiler won the $100,000 Northern Rivers Racing Association Country Championships Regional Qualifier (1400m) at Clarence River Jockey Club in Grafton on March 6.

Profiler a genuine chance in championship final

RACING: Profiler is shaping up to be a genuine contender in this Saturday's $400,000 Country Championships Final (1400m) at Royal Randwick.

The five-year-old gelding will represent the Northern Rivers with Ultimate Dreamer after the pair finished first and second at the $100,000 regional qualifier at Grafton on March 6.

Profiler followed up his heat win with an impressive 1000m trial at the same track on March 21, which Ballina trainer Stephen Lee believes holds him in good stead for the final.

"He's in top form and as his time suggested in the trial he's not a slow coach," Lee said.

Ridden by Ben Looker, Profiler ran 32.68 seconds for the last 600m and 54.65s for the duration to romp past One Direction (Jason Reilly) in the trial.

"He wasn't over extended and wasn't asked to do much, so his time suggested he has pretty good pedal," Lee said.

"It was quite extraordinary how he found the line.

"He come through the trial well, came home and ate up and for the rest of the week was on the water walker.

"He'll be on the track Monday and Tuesday and on the truck Wednesday. We're just going down with an open mind."

While the Clarence Valley's favourite daughter Tegan Harrison rode Profiler in the qualifier, she will be replaced in the saddle by Tye Angland for the final.

Harrison returned to racing at Beaudesert yesterday from a two-week suspension as a result of careless riding after the finish post on Profiler. She has six rides at Grafton today, including four for Lee, and will ride at Doomben this Saturday.

Despite missing out on a ride in the prestigious final, she will be following the final of the second annual Country Championships with interest.

"I do think it's a really good race for Profiler," she said. "I've been watching a lot of the qualifiers and my opinion is he's as strong as any other horse.

"His previous races in Brisbane show he's obviously got Saturday class about him. So in a race restricted to country horses I would deem him as a competitive chance."

Sydney jockey Kerrin McEvoy will ride Ultimate Dreamer in the Country Championships Final. The Jim Jarvis trained three-year-old filly was ridden by Grafton's Matthew McGuren in the qualifier, who also rode Redwolf to victory in the qualifier and final in the inaugural Country Championships series in 2015.



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