Gracias Amigo secures start in the Country Mile Series Final at Flemington

Gracias Amigo has completed a winning double for Grahame Begg and in the process secured a start in the Country Mile Series Final at Flemington.

Restricted class galloper Gracias Amigo has won his connections a start in the final of the Country Mile Series with his victory at Sandown.

The Country Mile Series has been contested over recent weeks on country tracks around Victoria with a $250,000 final for qualified horses at Flemington over 1600m on Saturday week.

Wednesday’s Heat 5 of the series was held over from Wangaratta on Saturday when that meeting was washed out because of heavy run in the north-east of the state.

That was a bonus for Gracias Amigo who has a dislike for wet tracks and his trainer Grahame Begg said the gelding would have been scratched had the meeting at Wangaratta gone ahead.

Ridden by apprentice Logan Mcneil, Gracias Amigo ($5) scored by 1-¾ lengths from the $4.20 favourite Flandersrain with New Choice ($4.40) a further 2-¾ lengths away third.

Despite being a month between outings, Begg said Gracias Amigo will strip in peak order for the final on Saturday week.

“He was supposed to run at Ballarat a week-and-a-half ago and he missed going there and then we had him in at Wangaratta last Saturday and they got called off due to the heavy track,” Begg said.

“We were very fortunate they put the race on today and fortunately he came in very well as Logan was able to take his full three-kilogram claim being a metropolitan race meeting, rather than one-and-a-half he would only be able to if he had run at Wangaratta.

“He won’t need to do much between now and the final. We’ll keep him nice and well, ticking over, and get him there on the day, but he’s a good talent and he likes the big flat tracks.

“His form had not been great at Sandown before today, but the plan was to try and get him qualified to get him into the final and he’s done the job.”

The win of Gracias Amigo completed a winning double for Begg after British Columbia took out the IVE> Print Handicap earlier in the program.

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