A desire to keep racing healthy at the smaller Parkes and Dubbo clubs has led to a unique series and the qualifiers will be on again on Friday.
In a bid to keep trainers supporting the two clubs, three heats of the series will be run on Friday before the $8000 final is run at Dubbo Paceway a week later.
The numbers for each of the heats are healthy, despite some concerns from Parkes Harness Racing Club's meeting coordinator Tony Dumesny the current COVID situation and meetings around the region would have an impact.
"We were envisaging not getting enough nominations due to it being a Friday night, and all three of Bathurst, Wagga and Young running this week, but we've got some great even, capacity fields," he said.
"We have the Parkes/Dubbo Series heats here, with the $8000 final in Dubbo next Friday night and that's obviously encouraged a few trainers to bring runners here."
At the Parkes track on Friday, Dumesny said everyone attending must follow the COVID guidelines and wear a mask, sign in with the QR code, and maintain social distancing.
Early markets highlight the expected even nature of the meeting, with no favourite shorter than $2.50 (the Mark Hewitt's Girl Just Fly).
The Parkes/Dubbo Series heats will be run over 2040m and the first of the qualifiers has attracted a number of in-form chances.
The Parkes-trained Caribbean Pat looks fantastic value for Malcom Hutchings at $5 despite the tricky gate six draw.
The four-year-old mare had a mightily impressive 1:58.3, 10 metre victory in Bathurst two starts back, and backed that up with a strong showing in Young last Tuesday when third.
the first heat will also feature Dubbo hopes Nicky Brook and Why Nott.
The Michael Pay-trained Nicky Brook appears the better chance, having scored a handy win at the Parkes track back in April.
Pay also has one of the leading contenders in the second heat.
Jacobs Thunder showed fantastic gate speed in his last start on the Parkes track for Pay with talented concession driver Jack Pay to again be in the gig on Friday.
Also at $5, the gelding represents solid value ahead of Wendy Turnbull runner To The Lookout and Nathan Turnbull's Kamendable Joe, who are at $6 and $4.50 respectively.
The third, and final, heat for the night has the most open field of the three.
That race has the once Dubbo hope in the form of the John Lew-trained Jogalong Blue.
Jogalong Blue also won at the Parkes track in April.
The three heats are the first three races on the card on Friday and racing begins at 7.10pm.
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