Star jockey Matt McGillivray is set to be reunited with his old boss Craig Smith when he rides Timetus in the $100,000 Battle of The Bush final at Doomben.
Racing Queensland has launched the series in an effort to boost interest in country racing and there have been 16 heats run across the state with the final at Doomben on Saturday.
McGillivray served his early apprenticeship with Smith in Roma before completing it in Brisbane.
He has since gone onto be one of the state’s leading jockeys and has ridden 81-1/2 overall winners this season.
“It will be great to ride for Craig again. It will be an interesting because I reckon half the field won’t have seen a grass track before,” McGillivray said.
“I know the series has created lot of interest in the bush.”
Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Corey Brown has been booked for the Robert Burrow-trained Galea Warrior.
Prolific country winner Fab’s Cowboy is topweight for the race with 61kg.
RQ chief executive Brendan Parnell said the response to the first series had been good and it was planned to make it an annual event.
“It has taken a bit of organising but it has been a major topic of discussion all over the state,” he said.
The finalists are Fab’s Cowboy (Cunnamulla), Just Call Me Louie (Emerald), Emperor Maximilian (Bundaberg), Man Around Town (Gordonvale), Kakakenny (Longreach), Galea Warrior (Mt Isa), Klammer (Warwick), Stellar Knight (Burdekin), Timetus (Central Warrego), Exstratum (Thangool), Canid (Nanango), Big Tomee (Atherton), Gingersnap (Bowen), Drinking Cocktails (Cloncurry), Go Get Sum (Goondiwindi) and Mason’s Chance (Barcaldine).