He might not have won Sunday's Western Districts Country Championships Qualifier, but Clint Lundholm still had reason to cheer at Coonamble.
Lundholm finished the showcase meeting with a winning double but the biggest result was a second-placed finish for Amulet Street in the $150,000 qualifier.
Lundholm conceded the Brett Robb-trained Great Buy was simply too good in the feature event but second place was still good enough to book a ticket to a second Country Championships Final for the Dubbo trainer.
"We're still going down (to Randwick) and we were beaten by a better horse out here today," Lundholm told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
"We're rapt. The horse went super and Snow's (Robb's) was just too good."
Amulet Street jumped the $3.60 favourite on Sunday and, alongside defending Western Districts champion Activation, headlined Lundholm's five-strong team in the 1400m heat.
Robb and Lundholm cemented their status as two of the best up-and-coming trainers in the region by dominating the finish.
The first six horses past the post were trained by either Robb or Lundholm, as Great Buy beat Amulet Street and Ferus (Lundholm, $6) was third while Beau Factor (Robb, $31), Avalicious (Lundholm, $101) and Watch Me Rumble (Lundholm, $16) were the next best.
Activation ($4.60), whose form has been up and down this preparation, was a disappointing 11th and Lundholm confirmed post-race he'll now head for a spell.
For Amulet Street, it's all about being in top-top shape for the $500,000 final on April 2.
"He was probably spot on today but we've got three weeks now and he's a nice young horse so we've got plenty of racing left in him," Lundholm said.
"He's a nice horse."
Lundholm did also enjoy victories with Beauchamp ($1.85 favourite) and Blackadder ($8) on Sunday.
Beauchamp, ridden by Hugh Bowman on Sunday, was on debut for Lundholm after previously racing for Lee Freedman.
The field for the final will be confirmed after Sunday's Wild Card at Scone.
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