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Queanbeyan trainer Joe Cleary has two chances in the Goulburn Country Championships qualifier

Quietly Brilliant is one of two chances Queanbeyan trainer Joe Cleary has in Saturday’s Country Championships heat at Goulburn. Photo: Graham TidyQueanbeyan’s larrikin trainer Joe Cleary cheekily thinks Canberra trainers might start moving across the border so they can return to the NSW Country Championships.

Cleary has two runners in the Goulburn heat (1400 metres) of the Country Champs on Saturday, with the first two horses past the post earning a spot in the $388,000 final at Randwick on April 1.

Both Quietly Brilliant and Chaquinta were $23 chances behind $2.50-favourite Pumpkin Pie.

Canberra-trained horses were allowed to compete in the series last year, which has heats around NSW, but this year they’ll go into the Provincial Champs instead.

Cleary said it was great for the “little blokes” of Queanbeyan.

“I think it’s absolutely fantastic. I think all those Canberra trainers want to move to Queanbeyan,” he joked.

“The Canberra guys will be competitive in the Provincial series, don’t you worry about that.

“I think Racing NSW made the right decision. It gives us little blokes a bit more of a go because Canberra have got quite a big monopoly on it as you’ve seen in the first couple of years.”

He’d dual nominated Quietly Brilliant in the Burley Griffin Sprint (1200m) – the precursor to the listed National Sprint (1400m) – but decided to scratch him from that and head to Goulburn instead.

Cleary said the five-year-old gelding was untried at 1400m, but could be a threat if jockey Simon Miller gets a quiet run.

It’s more of a stepping stone for the stayer Chaquinta on her way to a bit more ground.

“I’ve got two class gallopers in the race, but the only negatives are if it was a 1200m race Quietly Brilliant would be a good thing, but being 1400m it’s unchartered waters for him … and he’s got to carry 59kg from a wide barrier, but class will take him a fair way,” Cleary said.

“Chaquinta, she’s first up from an unbelievable preparation and it just sits nice with her program going forward.

“Not expecting blue-and-red ribbons, but if we happen to pick up a big, fat cheque, everyone will be happy.”

How they run will determine where the pair end up, with this weekend also deciding how many runners Cleary has on Black Opal Stakes Day.

Quietly Brilliant could head towards the National Sprint or the Camarena (1000m), Rosaruby will look towards the $200,000 Canberra Cup (2000m), Catch The Culprit is aiming at the listed Canberra Guineas (1400m), while Lucy Rose could go to the group 3 Black Opal (1200m).

Meanwhile, Canberra trainer Nick Olive has stable star Single Gaze running in the group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

She’s an $11 chance behind $5.50-favourite Denmagic, as the four-year-old mare has her first run since she had a spectacular fall in the n Oaks (2400m) last April.

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