Hawera Cup key qualifier for Country Cup championship 

With the $100,000 Country Cups Championship final at Addington fast approaching competition to make the field is hotting up, with today's Hawera Cup at Manawatu (5.11pm) being just one of four qualifying races left. 

After that there's just the City of Palmerston North Festival Cup on Thursday before the Winton Cup on April 9 and then the Mt Hutt Cup at Methven on April 10.

The Cups final on Easter Saturday will have a maximum field of 16 horses.

Of the horses lining up in today's Manawatu Cup,  Last Tango In Heaven (10 pts), Betterzippit (6 points) , New York Minute (5pts), and Mogul (3 pts) are currently outside the top 16, with Last Tango In Heaven especially rated a top chance in the race, despite starting off 40 metres for the driver-trainer combo of Tony Cameron and Tony Herlihy.

Arna Donnelly will have a strong hand in the 2500 metre Cup with Taipo, New York Minute, and Bad Medicine while Michael House will also once again have big numbers, with Mogul, Franco Hoffman and Sir Brigadoon. 

Leading the way right now among the qualifiers  is Got You Covered after he led a Robert and Jenna Dunn-trained trifecta in Sunday's Waimate Cup.  Dashing Major and Jimmy Arma, who finished second and third, are also certain to start in the final.  

Got You Covered has 25 points, six ahead of Homebush Lad and Allamericanlover. The first of 33 qualifying races was held way back in August last year when I'm Tough won the Kurow Cup. 

The series came about as part of the change to the racing calendar and was devised to provide more opportunities for the intermediate grade horses.

Generally speaking, pacers had to be rated at R85 or below at the time of their first start in a Country Championship Qualifying race. Horses have had to have three starts to be eligible for the final.

As of right now the 16 horses that would be qualify for the final would be :

Got You Covered

Homebush Lad



American Me

Rough And Ready

Dashing Major

Johnny Mac

Jimmy Arma

The Falcon

Kiss The Girls

Memphis Tennessee

Sam's Town

Tairlaw Toll



Ace Strike

To see more about the Country Cups championship click here :

In conjunction with the $100,000 Country Cups champions Easter Saturday will also feature five "RATTO" (Rating At The Time Of) races, three for the pacers and two for the trotters.

To be eligible horses must have be 4YO or older and be rated 60 or below as of January 1, 2022.
All five races will carry a stake of $30,000.



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