COLEAMBALLY reinsman Jackson Painting has set his sights on trying to win his first Group One race after driving Rocknroll Runa to an impressive win in the Gold Crown heats at Bathurst on Friday.
Starting from gate one Rocknroll Runa ($2.25) found the lead easily and led all the way to beat $81 outsider Tom The Curious by four metres, with Tamanisha Terror ($11) in third.
The two-year-old gelding's winning time in the $10,000 race was the slowest of Friday's heats, but runners in the opening heat had to deal with a stiff breeze in their faces before it subsided later in the night.
However, Painting said he would probably need to find a little extra if he wants to salute in the $100,000 final this Saturday.
"He's got plenty of ability so that definitely helps," he said.
"He's going to be a chance but he probably has to improve off his heat run.
"It was the slowest heat winning run but in his defence there was a real strong wind blowing down the main straight, which died off as the night went on.
"We're going to need a nice barrier draw and a bit of luck in running, but he won't disappoint I won't think."
Rocknroll Runa has compiled an impressive strike rate with three wins from four career starts thus far.
He backed up a win on debut at Leeton in January with another victory at Shepparton on March 13 before going on with the job in fine style on the quick back-up at Bathurst.
Painting said he has shown he can be versatile in how he races and will wait to see what unfolds in Saturday's race before settling on tactics.
"In his first race he sat outside the leader and was too strong that day," he said.
"But when he won at Shepparton he sat back and when there was no speed I took off and he rounded them up.
"He led all the way the other night (at Bathurst) and has got gate speed. He doesn't really have a racing pattern yet but we hope to be drawn somewhere up on speed, hopefully take a trail behind one of the better ones and hopefully keep up with them."
Painting said it would be a dream come through to break through for a Group One win for trainer David Kennedy in his 12th year of driving.
"I've ridden in a few but never won one yet. I think fourth or fifth is the closest I've finished," he said.
"It would be absolutely sensational to win, it's what everyone in this game strives to do at some point in their driving career."