Shelley Beach Road has gained a spot in the $500,000 Country Championships Final at Randwick after two horses who finished ahead of the mare in the qualifier at Port Macquarie have been sidelined with injury.
Jenny Graham trained the first three placegetters in the qualifier for the mid-north coast region on her home track at Port Macquarie on February 18 when Victorem beat Awesome Pluck and Portatorio.
The top two horses from the respective qualifiers earn a spot in the Country Championships Final at Randwick on April 7 but Graham advised stewards on Wednesday that Awesome Pluck and Portatorio would have to be withdrawn.
Awesome Pluck has been found to have an inflammatory airway disease and has been spelled while Portatorio has now been retired after suffering a bowed tendon.
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