Volpe Veloce gave favourite punters and her trainer a minor scare at Awapuni but in just a couple of explosive strides, she reinforced what all the hype is about.
The smart filly kept her unbeaten record intact with a one-and-a-half length win in the Group III Eulogy Stakes (1600m) on Saturday to take her record to five wins from as many starts.
Volpe Veloce highlighted an unforgettable day for Matamata trainer Graham Richardson who picked up a hat-trick of wins at Awapuni and just for good measure grabbed a fourth at Te Rapa.
"I can't even tell you if I've done it before, I'm not sure, but it's been a great day," Richardson said.
"I'm just absolutely chuffed for all the staff and all the owners and the horses themselves."
Richardson said he could not be happier with how Volpe Veloce keeps stepping up every start.
She will need to step up again in her next start when she heads to either the Group II Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day or the Group I Levin Classic at Trentham on January 14 but class alone makes her a strong chance of retaining her unbeaten record at either venue.
"It's not a decision we can make now, we'll just have to see how she is in the next few days but it will be one or the other," Richardson said.
Richardson admitted he was a little worried as his classy filly took her time to fully let down in the $70,000 three-year-old feature on Saturday but the contest was quickly over once she knuckled down.
"She's got a very good brain on her. She relaxes beautifully and she just seems to put herself in the right places in her races," Richardson said.
A $1.40 favourite, Volpe Veloce beat home Rip Into Ghia with a further neck back to Storytime in third.
Johnathan Parkes gave the daughter of Foxwedge a perfect trip, one out and one back, and she rewarded him with their fourth consecutive win together.
The final 150m of the 1600m trip was so good, it was almost as if she had just been playing with the field.
"It was really encouraging in the fact that the way she did that it looks like she will get 2000m and possibly further," Richardson said.
Volpe Veloce also holds nominations for the New Zealand Derby (March 4) and the New Zealand Oaks (March 18).
Richardson believes she still has a bit to learn and he is confident she will be a better horse next year.
He picked up the first race of the day at Awapuni with Wildflower in a rating 65 over 1400m and Pure Lorde was successful in race four, a Dunstan Stayers Championship qualifier at rating 65 over 2100m.
Richardson's win at Te Rapa came with Los Vargas in a rating 85 over 1200m.