Mornington owner-trainer Glen Stewart's call to target The Hotham paid off handsomely with his mare Mylex in Ballarat on Friday.
Mylex won the $75,000 battle of the maidens - opening her account at her 31st race start.
And what made it all the more special for a low-key Stewart is that five-year-old is the only horse he has had to the races since the start of last year.
Not only did it end Mylex's run of outs - she had had two seconds and six thirds previously - The Hotham also provided Stewart with his first win since 2014-15.
Jockey Jake Noonan said Stewart had approached him a month ago with his plan to take Mylex to the rich maiden over 1200m.
He said Mylex ($4.80) had been kept fresh - she was first-up since July 4 - and ridden cold, dashing down the centre of the track to catch All The Wine ($3.90 favourite) and go away by almost three lengths.
Although his charge come up short, Torquay trainer Bryce Stanaway was arguably the most excited after Costano Mile ($1) flew late along the rails to grab second. The eight-year-old mare was having her 91st start after eight seconds and four thirds.
Danube Delta ($61) was third ahead of All The Wine.
MITCH Freedman's golden run continued on his home track.
The Ballarat trainer saluted with Living The Dream ($3.70) Cervus Equipment Maiden, 1400m, to give him five wins in his latest eight runners.
It was a substantial pay day for the connections of the Artie Schiller, who also picked up a VOBIS Gold bonus of $20,000.
Freedman said he had been waiting for the four-year-old to put it all together.
"It looks like he's on track now."
Freedman said Living The Dream was now likely to head to Moonee Valley, with the gelding expected to get better over 1600m.
Freedman began his existing run with Bravo Tango at Benalla on September 27 and has followed up with wins with Broadwayandfourth in Ballarat, Moonlight Maid at Flemington and Southern Moon at Donald.
He is also enjoying doing well on the Ballarat turf, with successes as the past three meetings.
On another strong day for Ballarat stables, Ciaron Maher and David Eustace scored with New Zealand-bred High Emocean ($10.80) in the Ian Larkin Memorial Maiden for mares and fillies, 1600m.
The race was in memory of Ballarat hotel and hospitality identity Ian Larkin, who died last year.
DEWRINKLER ($11.10) scored first-up for the Amy McDonald stable in the Porter Plant Benchmark58 Handicap, 2000m.
The 5yo was previously prrepared by Jason Warren and his only previous win had been at Terang in March last year.