Payroll has won the Lord Stakes at Caulfield to cement her claims for the Magic Millions Trophy.
Payroll is heading back to the Gold Coast following an impressive Caulfield victory, looking to improve on her previous Magic Millions result.
The Richard Laming-trained mare took out the Listed Lord Stakes (1700m) on Tuesday and heads to the Gold Coast for the $1 million Magic Millions Trophy (2200m) in career-best form.
Payroll won the Group Three Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sandown last month and was freshened ahead of Tuesday’s race, her lead-up to the Gold Coast on January 13.
Ridden by Damien Oliver, Payroll was sent off the $2.80 favourite and scored by 1-3/4 lengths from Jacquinot Bay ($5) with Coldstone ($5) a long-neck away third.
Payroll finished third behind Stratum Star in the Magic Millions Trophy earlier this year and Laming said she was a stronger and more mature mare this year.
“She’s taken a while to hit her straps and mature,” Laming said.
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“She’s holding her condition well and racing well and to see her win like that and run the time shows she’s in form.”
With a $1 million on offer, Laming said the stable deliberately bypassed the Ballarat and Pakenham Cups with the mare who is booked to fly to the Gold Coast on January 3.
He said Payroll would gallop on the Gold Coast track on the Tuesday before the race, providing she arrives safely.
“With flights, you never know what can happen,” he said.
Oliver, who has ridden the mare four times for three wins, will again partner Payroll at the Gold Coast.
“Well done to Richie and his team. They’ve got her going great and it’s all systems go to the Gold Coast,” Oliver said.