CLASSY mare Bennelong Dancer looks primed to defend her SDRA Country Championship crown at Albury next Saturday after winning a trial at Wodonga yesterday.
Bennelong Dancer was able to nab tear away leader Just Stellar in the concluding stages of the 1200m trial.
It was her final major hit-out before the $150,000 qualifier.
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Trainer Donna Scott was rapt with the trial performance of her stable star with regular jockey Blaike McDougall aboard.
"I was super happy with the trial considering she doesn't like rain affected going and there was a bit of give in the track," Scott said.
"Blaike said he thought she was going to plod up and down in the one spot there for a fleeting moment.
"But once he gave her a slap with the whip she really knuckled down and chased hard and Blaike was happy with the performance.
"Just Stellar is a bit of a speed horse and got a long way in front.
"Ideally I would have loved Bennelong Dancer to race in preference to a trial but that hit-out was as good as a trial as far as I'm concerned."
For the second year in-a-row Bennelong Dancer will contest the lucrative qualifier first-up from a spell.
The six-year-old won the qualifier when resuming last year with Scott keen to stick with her proven winning formula.
McDougall is riding in career best form with Scott confirming the in-form hoop would once again partner Bennelong Dancer.
She will have one final gallop at Albury on Tuesday before the feature.