Winona Costin's star continues to rise, booting home her first winner for Gai Waterhouse and winning further praise from Donna Grisedale for a fearless ride on a horse that should be retired.
The Kembla Grange apprentice showed just why she's starting to attract the attention of some top city stables, revealing she's hopeful of retaining the mount on the Waterhouse-trained Blazing Snitzel at Rosehill on Saturday.
She did her chances no harm after parking in an uncustomary midfield position on She's Bella ($2.20f) in the Kembla Grange opener, mowing down her rivals to win by an ever-widening 3½ lengths.
"The other day when I rode for her as well I wasn't supposed to lead," Costin said. "I think she just likes to have them up on the speed and doesn't really worry if they lead and she's really good to ride for.
"I just had to wait for my run in the straight, but she hit the line really strong. I think she's probably city-class material."
But it was her inch-perfect ride on backmarker Dolled Up ($13.10) that would have impressed yesterday's racegoers.
Costin settled the mare at the tail of the field in the Class 2 Handicap (1000 metres), but was held up for a run (along the rail) for much of the straight.
But once leader Ceccuzzi ($2.70) drifted out a fraction, Costin drove Dolled Up through the gap to score by an impressive4½ lengths.
"No-one has ever ridden this horse better and it was her that told me to ride her quietly a long time ago," Grisedale said. "They've got the best bond ... the two of them."
The victory was Dolled Up's third in 54 starts, prompting Grisedale to shelve plans to take the eight year old Easy Rocking mare back to the renowned Bong Bong picnic meeting in November.
"The worse thing is those plans are ruined now," she joked. "She's still in my place because I can't find a retirement home for her.
"Honestly, I had retired her a while ago and because I own her, but I don't really know what to do with her. I don't really want the expense of breeding ... so I just keep racing her.
"She's not the soundest horse by all means - she's far, far from it - but what do you do with her? No-one really wants an unsound horse as a pet or as a show horse. She's the toughest mare ever. If you saw what we go through with her to get her to the races you wouldn't believe it."