Two Big Fari and Bobbing have qualified for April's Country Championships Final after finishing first and second in the $50,000 Country Championships Wild Card (1280m) at Muswellbrook on Sunday.
Grant Buckley piloted the Todd Howlett-trained Two Big Fari to a narrow victory over the fast-finishing Bernie Kelly-trained favourite (Rory Hutchings).
The Paul Messara-trained Luna Mia (Mitchell Bell) was a close third.
Trained at Muswellbrook, Two Big Fari, a four-year-old gelding, paid $6.50 for the win (TAB fixed odds).
He now has five wins from seven starts and more than $125,000 in prize money.
At one stage in the Wild Card, it had looked as if Bobbing was going to run down Two Big Fari, who then kicked late in the race to get the win and the $22,000 winner's cheque.
Tamworth trainer Cody Morgan had four chances in the race, with Kiwi gelding Mahalangur doing the best in finishing eighth - more than three lengths behind the winner.
However, the young trainer still has the favourite, in Ligulate, for the $500,000 Country Championships Final at Randwick on April 4. Ligulate who won the Country Championships qualifier at Tamworth this month.
On Friday, Morgan told theLeader that he expected the final to be raced despite the coronavirus epidemic, although he expressed a degree of pessimism: "Hopefully they're [the final] on. It's uncertain times at the moment. It's day by day."