James McDonald's Cheshire cat grin said it all.
The Kiwi hoop has already partnered several of Godolphin's Group 1 bound fillies this autumn and knew Pohutukawa could be added to that list.
The Medaglia D'Oro filly gave McDonald every reason to smile after surging to an impressive victory in Friday's Group 3 Kembla Grange Classic (1600m).
Sent out as the $1.65 favourite, Pohutukawa was brilliant as she came from back in the field to score by 1-1/4 lengths from the fast-finishing Frankely Awesome, with Scarlet Dream a half length away in third.
"She was very impressive. It takes a good filly to do what she did today," McDonald said.
The superb performance saw Pohutukawa quickly shortened from $11 to $8 equal second favourite with the TAB market for the Australian Oaks.
Godolphin's head trainer James Cummings confirmed he would target the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) next start on March 30 at Randwick.
Whether he continues on a path to the contest the Oaks remains to be seen.
"We will go to the Vinery first and then go from there but she is a serious filly and I think she is a massive chance in the Oaks if we take her that way," Cummings said.
The Vinery is the logical next step for Pohutukawa after her maiden Group 3 win.
Cummings came to Kembla Grange brimming with confidence in his top filly after she raced without luck when finishing fifth in the Surround Stakes (1400m) last start.
Pohutukawa got caught helplessly behind a wall of horses and went to the line untested in the Group 1.
An expert steer from McDonald took that of the equation at Kembla.
When the speed went on at the 800m mark, McDonald tracked into the race in a three-wide line and had Pohutukawa in open space as they hit the top of the straight.
Pohutukawa did the rest.
The Godolphin filly produced a powerful sprint as Frankely Awesome ($41) and Scarlet Dream ($10) ran on strongly from the back to highlight their own Oaks credentials.
"I was in a very good spot and then it turned out to be a very bad spot at the 600m. She had to make her own luck," McDonald said.
"She is a big, powerful filly that will go places."
For Cummings, the dominant display ticked a number of important boxes.
"The critical thing for her today was show a lot of strength through the line at 1600m," he said.
"Off a solid and tough run wide and having to loom up on the turn there, which has proved to be a little bit hard to do today at Kembla on that sort of track was excellent.
"It is what we wanted to see from her today."
Cummings and McDonald had already combined for a treble heading into the feature.
The duo were on song in the A J 'Bert' Lillye Memorial Handicap (1200m) with Intuition after earlier joining forces to taste success with Loveseat (race one) and Restrained (race three).