Dubbo Turf Club general manager Vince Gordon expects this year's edition of the Country Championships Western Racing Association heat to be the strongest yet, and he's been fine with it being contested away from his track.
The first six years of the Country Championships saw the western qualifier contested at Dubbo but in 2020 the showcase meeting will be moved to the Coonamble Jockey Club.
The $150,000 heat will be run on March 15 and hopes from around the region have been working towards it for a number of months now.
With Kody Nestor having taken his training game to the next level this year, Clint Lundholm continuing his development, and regulars like Rodney Robb always in the running the stage is set for two horses of real quality to book passage through to the $500,000 final at Royal Randwick.
"I believe this year the quality of horses in Dubbo has improved," Gordon said.
"The Western heat will be better across the board than it has been in the past.
"We've had Highway winners and placings so that's a good indication of things."
Nestor and Lundholm are two of the trainers who have contested Highway events in the city and they're on track to dominate the Coonamble qualifier nominations.
Nestor has Risk And Reward, Toulon Brook, and Sneak Preview leading those in contention while Conspirator, Sipharderson, and Dusky Damsel currently headline his fellow Dubbo trainer's hopefuls.
Those two trainers plus a number of other contenders will be in action at Sunday's meeting at Dubbo Turf Club, with a Country Championships Preview event on the card.
But the preview is as close to the Championships as Gordon and the Dubbo club will get in the lead-up to the final.
But Gordon insists the meeting at Coonamble will prove a hit.
"I'm happy to see it in Coonamble, they'll do a great job," Gordon said of the change of heat location.
"It's up to the club to put on a good event and I think they'll do that."
The staff at the Coonamble club have already been hard at work in the lead up to the Country Championships meeting, with a new irrigation system having been installed in recent months.
Fields for Sunday's meeting at Dubbo Turf Club will be released on Thursday.