DUBBO trainer Justin Stanley has described being a part of the Country Champion Final as one of the best moments of his racing career.
Stanley was in attendance at Royal Randwick to see his seven-year-old Something Borrowed line up in the $400,000 event.
While Something Borrowed did not figure in the placings Stanley was still delighted with his run and said the entire day one of The Championships, which was attended by more than 20,000 people, was something he would never forget.
"It was probably one of the best days of my racing life, it was unbelievable," he said. "And that little horse ran a super race."
Something Borrowed finished the 1400m journey in eighth place, but punters had little faith in the gelding who jumped from the barriers at $101.
With jockey Aaron Bullock, who rode him to victory in the $100,000 Qualifier at Dubbo last month, onboard the pair jumped last from gate 12.
They sat on the fence for the majority of the journey but just could not match it with the elite gallopers in the race.
"He was on the worst part of the track," Stanley said.
"It was heavy on the fence and everyone was getting to the outside.
"He drew a good barrier on a fast track but it just didn't work out that way.
"Aaron rode him good but he just couldn't get a clear run."
Eventual winner Clearly Innocent flew past Something Borrowed on his way to winning the rich final and Stanley could not speak highly enough about the Greg Bennett-trained four-year-old.
"We were just happy to be beaten five lengths by Clearly Innocent," he said.
"Just being that close to a great horse, he's super and will really go places. He'll win a few in Sydney."
Stanley was also in touch with Something Borrowed's former trainer John McKinnon shortly after the race on Sunday.
McKinnon was forced to give up his horses due to a battle with cancer he is now recovering from.
"He was super happy, he was stoked with the horse," Stanley said.
"He hasn't disgraced himself and he's showing his real ability now."
Stanley, who was back at home on Monday overseeing trackwork in preparation for this Friday's meeting at Orange, said he would aim to return Something Borrowed to a Sydney track in the near future.
The Volitant X Wedded Chimes gelding had been improving with each run, according to his trainer, and Stanley was confident of adding Something Borrowed's record of three wins sooner rather than later.
"I'll probably aim him at the Soldiers Saddle at Bathurst and then maybe go to Sydney again," he said.
"If I give him a look over a mile there he might win one or two races down there."