THE state's leading stable has warmed up for next week's Mildura Pacing Cup Carnival by notching a double at Mildura's City Oval Paceway on Wednesday night.
Another good night for Strathfieldsaye trainer Julie Douglas included wins with the three-year-old maiden Shaken Sands and Dont Write Me Off.
Both horses were driven by stable driver Jack Laugher, who ended the night with a treble after he added a win aboard Yoursnmine for Mildura trainer Reece Moore.
Douglas, who leads the state trainer's premiership standings with 47 wins, will be hoping the double is a prelude to even more success at next week's carnival, which kicks off on Wednesday and continues Friday before Saturday night's pacing cup meeting.
The stable has Khaki Nui and last Saturday night's Melton winner Im No Outlaw nominated for the $60,000 Group 2 Mildura Pacing Cup.
Douglas savoured dual success last year on cup night with wins to stable favourite Bernie Winkle in the free for all and Hayden Bromac.
The stable's success on Wednesday night will undoubtedly fuel hopes of a prolific few days up north next week.
Shaken Sands, a recent stable acquisition, was able to tick off her first win at career start number 10.
Only the last four of those runs have been for the Douglases - Julie and Glenn - after the three-year-old filly started her career under the guidance of Wahring trainer Danny Thackeray.
The daughter of Sunshine Beach had only two placings to her name before Wednesday's breakthrough, including a third at her previous start at Charlton.
Meanwhile, the former New Zealander Dont Write Me Off looks to have quickly found his feet after he made it back-to-back wins at Mildura with a tough performance in the NR 55 to 64 pace.
The four-year-old gelding, by Sportswriter out of the mare Fawn Lake, had a battle on his hands when headed by Midnight Calm on the home turn, but showed plenty of resilience to kick again in the straight and hold out King Solomon on the pegs.
His second win from three Australian starts boosted the gelding's overall record to three wins and four placings from 21 starts, with another quick trip to Mildura likely looming large.
Douglas and Laugher were unlucky not to have combined for a third win after the consistent, but unlucky Pocket Thedeal only narrowly failed to run down the supremely in-form Thomas Heights (Frank Mercieca/Wayne Hill) in the NR 65 to 80 pace.
The win made it seven in a row for the son of A Rocknroll Dance on his home track, with the first of those wins achieved on January 26 this year.
A big five days for the Douglas stable has included a double at Melton on Saturday night with Captain Confetti, driven by Ryan Sanderson, and Im No Outlaw (Laugher), and a win for Marsden Heights (Luke Dunne) at Shepparton on Tuesday.
There was further Bendigo success at Mildura for Alex Ashwood, who steered his stable newcomer Horrie Otara to a win in the opening race on the program.
It was the former New South Wales pacer's first start in Victoria and his second win in 24 career starts after breaking his maiden five starts earlier in Tamworth in January.
Ashwood clinched a driving double later in the night when he combined with Heathcote trainer Terry French to land a win on Another Sparky.
Ellen Tormey continued her excellent season with a win for Irymple trainer Scott Garraway aboard the five-year-old mare Miss Twinkle.
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