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Bathurst-trained horses lock out all top seven places in CDRA Country Championships qualifier
HE'S THROUGH: Electrified finished second in Sunday's CDRA Country Championships Qualifier. Photo: ALEXANDER GRANT
THE return of trainer Gayna Williams to Bathurst has led to a remarkable statistic from Sunday's CDRA Country Championships qualifier on Sunday.
With Williams' Healing Hands leading the way with a dominant win as favourite, the entire top seven of the race were all trained by Bathurst residents.
Electrified followed in behind Williams' winner for Dean Mirfin, claiming the second qualifying place in the process, and stablemate Tale Of The Kraut finished third to be the first reserve for the $500,000 final at Royal Randwick on April 4.
Mirfin believed the work of champion hoop Hugh Bowman played a big part if Electrified's result.
The former Bathurst apprentice jockey had to fall back on a backup plan in Sunday's qualifier at Mudgee but it turned out to be a good decision.
"It's fantastic to get one qualified. We were obviously hoping to win but to get second was a great result," Mirfin said.
"We thought he'd get himself into a closer position but Hugh decided after a short time that the horse would fare better if he allowed him to go back, so we went to plan B, and he rode the horse beautifully.
"He allowed the horse to reserve his energy and have a big finish at the end. Seeing him race like that was great because it's what he'll need to do racing at somewhere like Randwick on the long straight."
Mirfin confirmed Press Box will try her luck in the Muswellbrook wild card event on March 22 in her second bid to earn a place.
Press Box was fifth in the race, finishing narrowly behind Roy McCabe's I Stole Your Love.
"She had no luck whatsoever and got galloped on ... but she's come through the race okay," Mirfin said.
Williams will also send El Mo to the wild card race after she was forced to scratch the top weight runner on Sunday due to injury.
Another recent arrival in Bathurst, Wanda Ings, trained sixth place runner Speed Camera to round out a top six group who finish three lengths clear of the pack.
Andrew and Don Ryan's Ave finished the race in seventh place to complete the Bathurst lockout.