A long-term plan was executed to perfection at Awapuni where the lightly-tried Ladies First made a perfect open class debut in the Listed James Bull Rangitikei Gold Cup.
Allan Sharrock had Saturday's race in mind for the mare before she commenced her current campaign and the New Plymouth trainer understandably gained great satisfaction from her performance.
"That was well-orchestrated you could say," he said. "It's always nice when a plan comes off - get in on the minimum and get some black type."
Sporting headgear for the first time, Ladies First travelled comfortably three wide with cover under Lisa Allpress and she strode to the front 250 metres from home.
"The blinkers were always going to go on for this Listed race," Sharrock said.
"She's a very tidy mare and the owners want to win the Wanganui Cup, she's strong at the end of a mile so the 2000 metres will hold no fears for her."
A daughter of Dylan Thomas and the Group Three winner Just Polite, Ladies First has now won five of her nine starts.
Her stake earnings of just under $88,000 represents a good return on her Karaka purchase price of $8000.
Last-start Listed Manawatu Anzac 1550 winner Slimline came home well from the tail of the field to take second money and Zorrali finished third. Front-runner Prince Mambo held on for fourth ahead of the topweight Nashville.