New Plymouth trainer Allan Sharrock can be proud of his achievements with Ladies First this preparation.
Forward planning had the Listed Rangitikei Gold Cup at Awapuni first on the wish list for the four-year-old and last month that was ticked off with the owners' home track feature the next aim.
That target was also duly realised for Humphrey and Fiona O'Leary on Saturday when Ladies First cantered home in the Listed Civics @ Cambridge Lodge Wanganui Cup.
"I had her set for the Awapuni race and this is the one they wanted so we've bagged them both," Sharrock said.
"She's a very good, tough mare and where we go to after this I'm not sure. I think she's a year away from her best and Humphrey said after the race to turn her out so we may well do that."
Ladies First is the only horse Sharrock has trained for the Whangaehu-based O'Leary, who also shares in the ownership of the Group One-winning stayer Who Shot Thebarman.
"I just got a call out of the blue," Sharrock said. "I'm very happy to have her and hopefully she won't be the last."
Ladies First raced three wide in midfield from an outside gate and once rider Lisa Allpress asked the daughter of Dylan Thomas for a serious effort she quickly asserted her superiority.
The four-year-old strode to the front 200 metres from home and she sailed clear to score by three and three quarter lengths from Zartan and the front-runner Pacorus.
"That was a strong field as well," Sharrock said. "I got a shock when I saw it, but she's dealt to them."