A well-constructed plan to win back-to-back Emancipation Stakes with Skyerush has worked even better than trainer Guy Walter could have hoped.
On her way to a successful defence of the Group Two mares race, seven-year-old Skyerush has also won two Group Three races - the Liverpool City Cup and the Doncaster Prelude.
The Doncaster Mile was never on her agenda with Walter and owner/breeder Susie Castle-Roche targeting the Emancipation (1600m) and hopefully a trip north to avenge her 2012 second to Pear Tart in the Group One Tatt's Tiara in June.
"She is a marvel," Walter said.
"I can't speak too highly of her.
"She is going as well if not better now than she ever has.
"I think she is getting better with age."
Blake Shinn had Skyerush, the $3.50 favourite, tucked in behind the leaders and bided his time waiting for a run in the straight.
The gap opened and Shinn steered the mare through and she raced to a 1-1/4 length win over Floria ($31) with Cathay Lady ($10) a short half-head third.
Shinn has ridden Skyerush throughout her preparation and was rapt with her latest win.
"She's a little beauty," he said.
"She travelled like the winner all through the race and once she got the run it was all over.
"It's great for everyone."
Walter said Castle-Roche deserved much of the credit for keeping Skyerush sound.
"The mare spells on Susie's property and does her pre-training there," Walter said.
"It makes it so satisfying to be training the horse for an owner who also bred her."
Castle-Roche sent her mare Bally Aura to unfashionable stallion Super Jet, because that was what she could afford.
"I think he was about 2-1/2 grand," she said.
"I hope she goes to Brisbane again. It would be great to get that Group One."
Second favourite Xanadu ($4.40) finished fifth after being held up for a run and trainer Ken Kelso will take her home to New Zealand to prepare for a Melbourne spring campaign.