By Mark Brassel
One charity delighted with the surprise win of roughie Free Standing is Westpac Rescue Helicopter who will receive $5000 after taking out the 2017 TAB Editors’ Challenge.
Free Standing was running in today’s $400,000 Newhaven Park Country Championships Final on behalf of the Grafton Examiner with that newspaper nominating the charity as the recipient of TAB’s donation.
The Challenge was created on the back of the runaway success of the inaugural Country & Provincial Championships Series two years ago.
Left: Free Standing (Blake Shinn) runs away with today's $400,000 Newhaven Park Country Championships Final
With the Series attracting such a widespread following right around NSW, relevant newspaper editors were invited to ‘support their local horses’ that were heading to Royal Randwick to do battle in the two Finals of the Country & Provincial sectors.
“This is fantastic news,” said News Limited’s Peter Smajstr, representing the Grafton Examiner. “We also had the favourite Perfect Dare so it did come as a surprise that Free Standing was the one to land the $5000.
“I’m sure Westpac Rescue Helicopter will be over the moon to receive these much-needed funds and on behalf of them I wish to thank TAB for supporting this great concept.”
TAB registered its support for the Editors’ Challenge and sponsors both the Country and next week’s Provincial Finals whereby the first and second horses home (first three in the Provincials) in each newspaper’s region, then be run for the newspaper’s favourite charity in the Final.
Last year TAB generously gave $5000 to the each of the two Final winners, namely Clearly Innocent (Scone Advocate-Aberdeen Men's Shed) and Danish Twist (Illawarra Mercury-Friends of Wollongong Botanic Garden). TAB is giving a further $500 to each charity that does not win either Final.
HONOUR ROLL 2017 Grafton Examiner – FREE STANDING (Westpac Rescue Helicopter) 2016 Scone Advocate - CLEARLY INNOCENT (Aberdeen Men's Shed) 2015 Muswellbrook Chronicle - ARTLEE (Cancer Council)
All details on the TAB Country and Provincial Championships Editors’ Challenge appear at – 2017 TAB Country & Provincial Editors' Challenge