Albury trainer Mitch Beer grabbed his biggest win since moving to the Border from Mornington when Sky Call captured the $150,000 SDRA Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) at Albury on Saturday.
Beer combined with Victorian apprentice jockey Teo Nugent on Sky Call ($8) to win the championships qualifier at their first attempt.
Fellow Albury trainer Donna Scott is also bound for Randwick in April after Bennelong Dancer ($4) finished a gallant second.
Thistledo ($26) ran a close up third for Gundagai trainer David Blundell.
Beer was thrilled with the win.
"It's bloody terrific," Beer said.
"There was a bit of pressure when you saddle up six.
"I didn't know where to look halfway down the straight but I had my eyes firmly planted on her.
"She was the class runner in the race, her only knock was the barrier but good horses find luck and we had a good jockey so it's bloody terrific."
Of his six runners, Beer also finished sixth (Maid In Milan), seventh (Bezos), ninth (Perfect Illusion), 15th (Logan River) and 16th (Damselfly's Kept).
But it was Sky Call, owned by Steve Watkins, that came up trumps with her third career win at start 15.
Nugent, who is managed by Beer's sister Ash, has been riding for close to two years and labelled the win a career highlight.
"It's unreal," Nugent said.
"Obviously there is a big lead up to the event, a lot of publicity with it and we were quite happy to run first or second just so we could make it to Sydney.
"So to take it off, is even better.
"It's probably my biggest win as a jockey so far.
:Ash really pulled my arm and asked me to come down and ride so I thought yeah no worries at all."
Beer also praised the race concept.
"Just the build up. The owners have enjoyed the massive ride, win, lose or draw," he said.
"To be able to take it out is massive.
"NSW have kicked a massive goal here, look at how many people are here, getting around a country Saturday meeting, it's unreal and I'm just rapt to be part of it and win it."
The $500,000 final at Randwick in April was the furthest thing from Beer's mind after the race.
"I've got to get through tonight first," he laughed.
Nugent was also quick to put his hand up for the ride in the final.
"Fingers crossed," he said.