Matt Dunn may not have managed to win the Highway Handicap at Rosehill but he has come away with an even bigger prize following Miss Dubois’ victory in the Country Classic.
The Murwillumbah trainer is the most successful in the two-year history of the Highway races for country-trained horses.
On Saturday, the $100,000 Country Classic (2000m) was added to the program and Dunn had four runners, Bronzed Venom, Zamex, Madame De Ban and Miss Dubois.
Earlier, stablemate Realing ran third in the $60,000 Highway (1500m) won by Schedule.
Of the Dunn quartet in the Country Classic, punters warmed to Miss Dubois, who started the $4.40 favourite with Kerrin McEvoy aboard.
McEvoy had to make a couple of decisions in the races when things were not working out quite as he planned.
“The horse I was following wasn’t going anywhere so I had to get out and move her a bit closer and then Glyn’s (Schofield) horse got going and had me a bit wide so I had to bide my time a bit,” McEvoy said.
“I knew Matty’s mare would run the trip out strongly. I’ve had an easy time out through the first part and she was very game.
“I must admit, I was a little bit worried at the half mile when I sort of had to ask her to get into it. And then on straightening, I knew I was going to get it done.”
Miss Dubois got it done by three-quarters of a length from Wildflower ($26) with another 1-3/4 lengths to D’Beak ($31).
Madame De Ban led home Dunn’s other runners in fifth, with Zamex sixth and Bronzed Venom 11th.
“I actually thought Bronzed Venom might be the best of the four,” Dunn’s wife and assistant Keira said.
“But Miss Dubois has been racing against the better horses in town so she had the form.
“And what better rider could she have had. I only just met him today.”
Blaike McDougall, who rode the runner-up, scored earlier in the Highway Handicap on the Mack Griffith-trained Schedule.