Rosehill galloper Outback Diva took the big money on offer at Thoroughbred Park on Friday winning the $150,000 Canberra Mile, but local trainer Matthew Dale stole the show with Black Opal-bound Pretty Woman.
The Written Tycoon filly scorched the Canberra turf recording a last 600m of 32.13sec to blow them away in the Black Opal Preview (1000m) and book her spot in next month's $250,000 feature.
Her scintillating win over Sydney debutant Glistening capped a superb day for Dale, who also claimed the Canberra Guineas Preview (1400m) with boom filly Molly Nails.
But it was the Love Racing-owned Pretty Woman's effort that meant the most to Dale.
"Pretty Woman was the last horse bred and named before Donna Love passed away, and she was the matriarch of Love racing," Dale said.
"To have her son Bailey and husband Rob here today along with James Harron their bloodstock agent, is really special.
"To lose such an inspirational woman was very sad and to be given this horse who's very special to the family was a privilege. Very grateful that we're able to do good things with her.
"She's a special horse, she has been the whole way through, but her demeanour takes her a long way and obviously she's got good ability."
Dale will aim Pretty Woman at the Opal, and will also nominate the speedy chestnut for the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) a day earlier at Randwick.
Molly Nails, meanwhile, will go straight into the $150,000 Canberra Guineas (1400m) on March 8 after hanging on to win as a $1.50 pop on Friday.
The three-year-old burst clear at the top of the Canberra straight, but tired late as the Gai Waterhouse Adrian Bott-trained Yaletown threatened to cause a boilover.
"She just switched off a little bit and Gai's don't stop, and it had a picnic in front," Dale said.
"It just kept chipping away and that's no surprise. She did what she had to do. That'll top her off nicely for two weeks time."
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Molly Nails came into the race of a 7.5L win at Wagga last start, and Dale was delighted with how well she handled her latest test.
"That was three-and-a-half weeks between runs and up to 1400 off a slow tempo and a sharp turn of foot, that'll just bring her on perfectly for where she needs to be come two weeks." Dale said.
"We've had her from the get go. She was a bit small and a bit fiery and we've taken our time with her.
"She's always shown good ability but she's had to be treated with kid gloves and let mature.
"She's still doing a few things wrong and I think she'll be very hard to beat in the Canberra Guineas. We like to have a chance in the Canberra Guineas, and we like to have a chance in the Black Opal."