TRAINER Geoff Duryea will nominate News Girl for the Country Championship qualifier at Albury next week.
A gallant News Girl lost no admirers after being nabbed in the final stride in group 3 company at Caulfield on Saturday in the toughest test so far of her career.
News Girl has emerged as the most talented galloper in the Riverina after notching a string of group 3 placings during her short 14-start career.
Duryea said he would also nominate his stable star for another group 3 race at Caulfield on the same day as the $150,000 feature at Albury.
"It was another brave performance by my mare," Duryea said.
"It seems like she can do everything except win a group race.
"She has had three starts now in group class races and been placed in every one of them.
"It was a bit bizarre on the weekend because she raced at the corresponding meeting last year in a different group 3 race and got beat by the same margin.
"She will be entered for the Country Championships qualifier but we will keep our options open.
"There is another mares group race at Caulfield over 1400m the same day.
"Or we can wait an extra week and there is also a suitable race for her over 1100m at Flemington.
"She will definitely run in one of those and then she is going for a let-up."
IN OTHER NEWS
Damian Lane partnered News Girl for the first time on the weekend.
Duryea said the champion hoop was glowing in his praise of News Girls performance.
"Damian said she is a lovely mare who is bomb-proof in that she jumps clean and can settle wherever you want to put her," Duryea said.
"He also said she tries her heart out and it's only a matter of time until she wins a group class race.
"I just wish it was sooner rather than later."
Duryea said his emerging star pulled-up fine from her fourth start since resuming in November.
"She pulled-up better than a lot of the owners to be honest," he said.
"A couple of them including Jake Edmunds and my son, Marc, jokingly asked if I could send her for a spell because it takes them a couple of days longer to recover than it does the horse.
"But as I said, she will have one more start before heading for a freshen-up."
The qualifer at Albury next Saturday is shaping as an intriguing race with some of the Border's most talented gallopers set to clash.
Bennelong Dancer looms as the testing material after finishing third in the $500,000 final at Randwick last year.
Emerging gallopers Ilovesaki (Norm Loy), Yousay Bolt (Ron Stubbs) and Logan River (Mitch Beer) look to be other leading contenders.
Meanwhile, New Girl's full-brother showed plenty of promise winning a trial at Wodonga on Tuesday.
Front Page is an unraced three-year-old gelding by Magnus out of trainer Geoff Duryea's injury-prone mare Stacey Lee.
Several of the owners are also in New Girl and will have their fingers crossed that Front Page has similar ability to his older sister.