Scone-trained Syd's Footprints and Luna Mia started late claims for a Kosciuszko (1200m) spot with strong wins at their home track on Monday.
Newcastle jockey Darryl McLellan booted home his first winner since returning from a broken ankle when he took the Brett Cavanough-trained Syd's Footprints to a front-running one-length victory over 1200m.
Paul Messara-trained mare Luna Mia then scorched to a five-and-a-half-length win in the class two over 1200m with Newcastle hoop and Australian premiership leader Aaron Bullock aboard.
Luna Mia was then crunched into $15 with TAB for the $1.3 million Kosciuszko, which will be run on October 19 at Randwick. Syd's Footprints was $51.
Fourteen punters with winning tickets from a draw held on Tuesday then negotiate a deal to run the horse of their choice in the race for country-trained gallopers.
Cavanough, who has Star Boy as an $11 chance for the Kosciuszko, believed Syd's Footprints, after two disappointing runs, needed to dominate on Monday and repeat the dose in stronger company to push his claims.
"He had to come out and blow a field away like that in open company in the bush to stamp himself ... and he literally did," Cavanough said.
Luna Mia's victory was one of three for Messara on the day after Emanuela and Deepwood Vale won in impressive style.
Bullock rode Emanuela and the Nathan Doyle-trained Little Al to victories for his own treble, which was his fifth in just 16 days. He has 34 wins for the season.