Country Championship favourite Noble Boy qualifies in nick of time

The victory takes Noble Boy’s record to five wins from his only six starts.

He is raced on lease by trainer Todd Blowes and former teammates from the Queanbeyan Blues rugby league side.

There were wild scenes in the parade yard after the win with several of those owners there to see the triumph.

Noble Boy has been favourite for the Country Championships since betting first opened, but after failing in the Goulburn heat had to win or run second in the Wild Card to qualify.

“What a relief, that was heart in the mouth stuff,” Blowes said.

“I was a bit worried at the 200m when Safe Landing gave a good kick but he toughed it out.

“Safe Landing was fighting back and I was worried my horse wasn’t going to catch him.”

Blowes said the horse’s fourth at Goulburn had left him wondering about what went wrong.

“However, the next day the heat came out of his joints and that sort of gave me the answer so we iced his joints and then concentrated on getting him ready for this,” Blowes said.

“When it rained on Saturday night my confidence started to rise and I hope we can have a rain-affected track for the Final.

“We will be kind to him leading up to it. We won’t do a lot with him but he will be ready to go.”

Bowman said the horse had improved since he won him at Warwick Farm in early February.

“The race at Goulburn was a messy event but going to the barrier today he felt better than he did at Warwick Farm,” Bowman said.

Bowman had only four horses behind him at the 600m but soon after started to move forward wide out.

Safe Landing had cleared out and opened a big break and Noble Boy had a lot of ground to make up, but there was no panic from Bowman.

He gave Noble Boy two reminders and the horse responded to hit the line late but was finishing so quickly he won by one and a half lengths.

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