Improving mare Dancing Gidget has relished a return to a dry track to take out the opening race at Rosehill and remain in the running for the $7.5 million Golden Eagle.
Trainer Chris Waller confirmed Dancing Gidget was among a group of horses the stable had entered for the rich race and she would be given a short break with the October 31 target in mind.
“We did all our noms on Friday and she was one of about 20 horses we put in,” Waller said.
“It’s not just about winning a $7.5 million race, it’s actually being in the field and getting second, third, fourth prize money.”
James McDonald had the choice of five Waller runners in Saturday’s Everest Carnival On Sale Handicap (1500m) and pulled the right rein in opting for Dancing Gidget ($5).
He found her cover behind the speed and angled off the fence in the straight to surge between runners and score by a long neck over Nimalee ($5.50).
The winner’s stablemate Vegas Jewel ($12), making her debut for Waller, was another short half-head away.
Vegas Jewel finished second in the Group Two Wakeful Stakes last spring and Waller said she sweated up before the race and would improve significantly.
“Vegas Jewel was the one with the big, flashing light on,” Waller said.
“She has raced in better races, she was first up today and pretty fresh.”
Staying mare She’s Ideel started favourite and was doing her best work late for fifth.