Gutsy Wagga mare Fashion Tip all but assured herself of a start in the Country Championships qualifier with a second placing at Albury on Friday.
Canberra mare Dutchesse Moshe ($3.90) claimed the SDRA Championship Preview – Class Four Handicap (1400m) at Albury.
She will head straight to the Goulburn heat on Saturday March 2.
The best of the Southern District hopes proved to be the Wayne Carroll-trained mare Fashion Tip, who was 1¼ lengths back in second place.
She was on the borderline of making the field with a benchmark rating of 61 heading into Friday’s race, but it now likely to gain a point to put her into the field.
Wagga trainer Wayne Carroll was happy with his mare’s run heading into the Championships heat.
“Absolutely, she’s just so honest,” Carroll said.
“There are other options for her but she can settle close and we know she runs the distance. There are going to be other horses in the race that won’t.
“She’s earned her chance. She’s going to be bad off at the weights but she’s earned her chance.”
At the other end of the scale, stablemate Rock ‘N’ Roller started the $3.20 favourite but endured little luck in the run and finished seventh.
He had a benchmark rating of 62 prior to the race and may drop one.
Albury galloper Arthur Porritt’s place is also in some doubt now after he finished last, beaten 10 lengths. He also had a benchmark rating of 62 before the race.
Carroll spoke at length with jockey Kayla Nisbet about Rock ‘N’ Roller’s run and will put it down as a forgive run.
“Forget he ran. We’re just going to put a line through it,” Carroll said.
The Dave Heywood-trained Frenze Hall ran third in the race and will now push on to the Championships heat.
Meantime, Landmine ran an impressive first-up third behind Pacific Tycoon in the Border Bandag Benchmark 58 Handicap (1175m).
Lady Mironton finished fourth.