Ballarat mare Im Ready Jet underlined herself as potential topline squaregaiter in Ballarat on Saturday night.
Trained by Anton Golino and Jack MacKinnon, she gave another glimpse of her promise by taking out the Petstock Assist Trot, 2200m.
Im Ready Jet has been multiple group 1 winner as a two and three-year-old over the past two seasons, but now is the time for her move into open company.
She raced outside the leader before stamping her authority on the race in quicker time than the feature trot on the Ballarat Pacing Cup program, the EB Cochran Cup.
Im Ready Jet ($2.70 favourite) beat home a fast-finishing Bullion Lady ($7.90), with Kyvalley Chief ($5) third.
Golino has high hopes for Im Ready Jet, with the four-year-old set to take on the elite of the squaregaiting ranks in the rick Great Southern Star at Melton on Friday, February 5.
Im Ready Jet has won 11 of 20 starts for $184,000 in stakes.
The group 2 $30,000 Cochran Cup went to Toolern Vale seven-year-old Magicool ($6..40) in dramatic circumstances.
The Rob McConnnell-trained gelding had to survive a protest, with stewards needing to examine whether Magicool had run inside the pegs in the home straight to gain a clear inside run.
Kerryn Manning lodged the protest on Red Hot Tooth ($2.70 favourite), which was a head away second..
Manning from Great Western is one win away from bringing up her 4000th in a driving career spanning almost 30 years. A successful protest would have been a quirky was to achieve the mark.
Manning will now aim to reach the milestone at her home track at Stawell on Monday.