Cambridge trainer Roger James went through his stable earlier this month and identified seven three-year-olds with black-type potential.
In the past nine days, two of those seven have earned black-type and James is confident it's just the start of a vintage season for his Classic-age runners.
Written Tycoon filly Prestigious Miss finished strongly for third to Anabandana in last Saturday week's Gr III Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings and she could embellish her record if James pushes ahead with a planned start the Gr II $85,000 Hawke's Bay Guineas (1400m) at the same track this weekend.
On Saturday, James gained his first stakes win of the season when Holy Roman Emperor filly Holy Moly capitalised on the run of the race from rider Vinnie Colgan to win the Listed $45,000 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie.
"It's satisfying - satisfying to get black-type for an owner and satisfying that she has fulfilled the promise I always thought was there,'' James said.
"It's good to get black-type for fillies for their breeding later on. We got small black-type with Prestigious Miss last week and big black-type this week.''
Holy Moly is raced by Ian Moses and his wife Vivienne McIntosh, a couple who last year returned to New Zealand after 25 years living and working in the United States.
The couple had previously had success racing horses out of the James stable, under the management of Cambridge bloodstock agent Barry Lee, with Gr III winner Temple Hills and capable mare Catalina providing highlights.
James noted that Holy Moly's Soliloquy Stakes win was fitting for Moses and McIntosh as Temple Hills was a grandson of Soliloquy.
James said he had been ``50-50'' whether to start Holy Moly on the slow track on Saturday.
"I was very happy with the filly but I thought she'd be better on a better track. I left the decision up to the owner and he chose to run, and I applaud him for that,'' James said.
Saturday's win was Holy Moly's second from five starts, having debuted with a Te Rapa two-year-old win before a luckless run leading into her Soliloquy success.
James, who trained Holy Moly's dam, Zabeel mare Clarissa, said the filly would target the Gr I $300,000 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 12 and, though he hadn't confirmed her leadup race, he indicated the Gr III Sarten Memorial (1400m) at Te Rapa on October 24 was at the forefront of his thinking.
He wasn't concerned about the prospect of facing off against leading Guineas contenders, such as Anabandana and Artistic, at Te Rapa.
"We are going all the way to Riccarton to take them on so we've got to take them on sometime and that wouldn't worry me,'' he said.
"For her next start, I'd like to find a race that doesn't entail a lot of travelling and it's probably the obvious place to go. But when you've got options it's good to take time and make the right decision.
"She's out of a very good mare. I trained her dam and she was one mare who left my stable who should have got black-type but didn't.''
Colgan positioned Holy Moly on the speed and she sprinted too strongly for Perfect Katch, scoring by three-quarters of a length.
James will have a strong team heading for Hastings on Saturday with Prestigious Miss heading his entry in the Guineas.
He said he would nominate He's Remarkable for the Gr III $70,000 Traderacks Stakes (1400m) as well as the Rating 90 1600m race.
- Waikato Times