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Caerless Choice into Country C’ship final

Caerless Choice has made light of a track downgrade at Scone to race his way into the $400,000 Country Championship final.

The Paul Messara-trained and Mitchell Bell-ridden three-year-old got the nod by a short half head over Nic’s Endeavour in a deceptive finish to Sunday’s $150,000 regional heat.

After a sudden storm the Scone track was downgraded to a heavy 8 which Messara admitted concerned him.

“I thought when the rain came he was no chance,” Messara told Sky Thoroughbred Central.

“I didn’t think he could handle it.

“It was a great ride. He took his time and had the last crack at them.”

Caerless Choice ($8) was wide on the track with the Todd Howlett-trained Nic’s Vendetta ($12) closer to the fence.

Howlett and jockey Aaron Bullock both thought they had got the win but with the first two qualifying for the $400,000 final at Randwick on April 1 they will have another shot.

“I thought we’d won but we are off the the final,” Bullock said.

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