Wagga trainer Wayne Carroll is poised to launch a three-pronged attack on the $150,000 Country Championships qualifier at Albury next month.
Carroll enjoyed a big day at Murrumbidgee Turf Club on Tuesday as Fashion Tip and Rock ‘N’ Roller provided him with a winning double.
Fashion Tip ($9.50) backed up her eye-catching first-up performance with a strong win in the Diageo Australia F&M Benchmark 58 Handicap (1200m) at Murrumbidgee Turf Club.
Rock ‘N’ Roller ($4.00) then completed a race-to-race double for the Carroll stable after proving too good in the Southwest Catering Care C,G&E Benchmark 58 Handicap (1200m).
Heading into Tuesday’s race meeting, Carroll had the one certain starter in the Country Championships heat in Lady Mironton, but was hopeful Rock ‘N’ Roller could stake a claim.
Rock ‘N’ Roller certainly did, while Fashion Tip made a case to be included as the stable’s third contender.
“We’ll throw at it what we can,” Carroll said.
“Whatever I can get into the Champs, I’ll get in there.”
Carroll’s apprentice Belinda Wright guided Fashion Tip to victory, in what was the young jockey’s first win for the stable.
Fashion Tip was three wide for the entire journey but always looked the winner after they entered the home straight.
The four-year-old mare hit the lead halfway down the straight and raced away to score by 1½ lengths, from Where’s Pippa ($12.00) and La Dalliance ($3.20).
“We’ll head to Albury on the 8th now and go from there. She’s come back a lot stronger,” Carroll said.
Fashion Tip now boasts three wins from her last six starts. Her benchmark rating was 56 before Tuesday’s win so she will be a strong chance of making the field for the Country Championships heat.
Now all but assured of a start is Rock ‘N’ Roller, who took his record to three wins from six starts for his big group of owners.
“He’ll go to the 1400 metre prelude at Albury now after that,” Carroll said.
“Because he missed a jump out the other day, he’ll improve a lot from that run.
“Mat (Cahill) said he really dug in with 100 to go. They had their chance to run him down but he didn’t want to lay down.”
Rock ‘N’ Roller also showed his versatility by jumping and settling outside the leader this time, after settling well off the speed in the past.
“He jumped so well today. Mat said he is still learning and he is,” Carroll said.
“To carry 61.5 kilos, at the end of the day with the vest, and to still give like he did at the end there, full credit to him."
Rock ‘N’ Roller won from Lord Laurie ($9.00) and Halliday Road ($10.00).
All three of Carroll’s contenders are set to have their final lead-up run at Albury on February 8.