Bigger targets await on Derby Day, but the weeks of Grahame Begg and Brenton Avdulla gathered momentum after the pair combined to snap the maiden status of Argentine-bred Bugaboo at Kembla Grange yesterday.
Pitchforked into the Benchmark 69 Handicap (1600 metre) despite still being eligible for easier races, Bugaboo showed a blinding turn of foot to justify the faith of punters who sent her out as a $3.20 favourite in the small field.
"I know it's a big step not running her in a maiden, but we decided to race her on a big track and we get a city-class jockey on her," Begg said. "We ran her here in a maiden the other week and we experienced a little bit of difficulty getting runs in the straight with big fields. It's nice just to get a win on the board."
The Mutakddim four-year-old, out of Argentine mare Bavarian, impressed behind city winner Havana Rey last preparation before running into dead ends when resuming at Kembla earlier this month.
Avdulla, who will partner red-hot favourite Howmuchdoyouloveme in the Yellowglen Stakes (1200 metre) on Saturday, tipped Bugaboo to have a bright future.
"I've always had a good opinion of her, but she's always raced out of her grade a little bit," he said. "Every time she's come back to a maiden she's always been unlucky. It was good to get a win with her [yesterday] and hopefully she can progress."
"We've had a lot of problems with her, no injury problems just a few niggly little problems and it's taken us a little while to get her going again," Begg said.
"It's just very, very good to win a race with her."