A GROUP of Wagga owners are off to one of the biggest days on the Australian racing calendar at Royal Randwick next month.
Forever Newyork booked his place in the $400,000 Country Championships Final (1400m) on April 1 with a huge performance at Albury on Sunday.
Forever Newyork, first-up from a spell, was edged out in a photo finish by Albury stayer Lautaro in the $150,000 Southern District heat at Albury.
Both horses qualify for the rich final at Randwick and Wagga trainer Gary Colvin was thrilled to book his place.
“I’ve noticed that he’s improved heaps since his last campaign and I think we’ve got a really serious horse here,” Colvin said.
“He’s improving all of the time, he’s only three years old now and he’s beating open company horses, first-up and underdone.
“He’ll improve heaps off that because I did put him the deep end.”
Forever Newyork entered Sunday’s heat with only six career starts under his belt and was the most inexperienced horse in the field.
Colvin did not commit to a start in the lucrative heat until the last minute.
“I gave him a couple of jump outs. He was very good at his last jump out and that’s when we decided to take him,” he said.
“There was a couple of good horses in it, then it flattened out and we were all pretty even so that’s what made me think, look, we may as well have a crack at it.
“I’m still wary. You see that last little bit he was tired but he was still trying. He tries that hard, he’s just a tryer.”
A three-year-old gelding by Manhattan Rain, Forever Newyork was purchased by Colvin for $32,000 at the Adelaide Magic Millions Yearling Sale in 2015.
Forever Newyork picked up his purchase price exactly, $32,000, for Sunday’s second placing to take his career earnings to $71,550.
Colvin said there is plenty to look forward to, heading to Sydney.
“I think he has improved since his last campaign and we’ll have a crack at Sydney because he’s going to improve on that,” he said.
“It’s always disappointing when you lose, but we’re going to Sydney and it’s not bad prizemoney for running second (on Sunday).”
Colvin was also pleased for the owners.
“They’ll go to Sydney anytime, it doesn’t matter what’s on but it’s exciting and it’s good for them,” he said.