After a confidence boosting win at Cranbourne, talented mare Payroll will take her next step towards a rich summer target when she runs at Moonee Valley.
The Richard Laming-trained Payroll is being aimed at the $1 million Magic Millions Trophy (2200m) at the Gold Coast in January and runs over 1600m on Saturday after beginning her campaign with a seven-length Class One win at Cranbourne.
“We’ll get over Saturday first and then work out a bit of a plan to get to the Magic Millions. There’s a couple of different options,” Laming said.
Payroll was stakes placed as a two-year-old and also as a spring three-year-old in the Thousand Guineas Prelude but didn’t perform to expectations last campaign.
So Laming was pleased to see the mare put her rivals away when he kicked off her latest campaign on November 4.
“She had to do that to go where we’re going,” Laming said.
“But she had 61-1/2 kilos and it was a good win.
“It was important to get her confidence back.”
Laming took Payroll to Moonee Valley to work on Tuesday morning where she galloped with Ashlee Marie who will run in the same benchmark-84 for mares on Saturday.
Payroll, with Steven Arnold in the saddle, sat off her stablemate early before moving up rounding the home turn and they ran to the line together.
“I thought Ashlee Marie’s work was very good and Payroll’s was great,” Laming said.
“She just built momentum and Steve gave a good report.”
Laming said he missed the spring with Payroll on purpose.
“I wanted to give her a good spell and I think it’s worked,” he said.
“She’s always had ability. I don’t think she really came up last preparation. She didn’t really have the zip she showed me the preparation before. So that’s why I elected to miss the spring and target the Magic Millions.”
He said the mare had trained on nicely heading into Saturday’s Moonee Valley race.
“I think the barrier will be important because she’s a horse who needs plenty of room,” Laming said.
“We’d like to draw an outside gate, give her plenty of room and let her build into it and I think she should be hard to beat again.”