Dean Mirfin knows what it takes to win a Country Championships Qualifier so anytime he says he's got a new contender, it's worth listening.
At Dubbo Turf Club on Friday a new star may have emerged, with Gemmahra claiming her breakout victory first-up in a competitive $40,000 Country Maiden Showcase Plate (1300m).
While the Silver Goblet may often points to potential, the lightly-raced Gemmahra caught the eye as she won over 1300m despite having just the one trial after a 17-week spell.
"She's young and only had a couple of starts but she's a genuine Country Championships type filly," Mirfin told Sky Thouroughbred Central.
"Next year as a four-year-old mare she'd be ideally suited to something like that.
"But she's picked up $25,000 for winning a maiden at Dubbo so that's a good start to her preparation."
The distance may have seemed testing first-up for the three-year-old, but Bathurst-based Mirfin didn't have any doubts about Gemmahra's ability.
Ridden by Mathew Cahill from gate seven, Gemmahra ($3.40 favourite) settled down third early on while Beau Zariz ($11) booted clear early on and Southern Strategy ($12) was second.
Cahill moved his hope a little wider and took the lead as the field entered the home straight.
The field ran wide down the straight, as was the case most of the day, and while Banff ($4.80) fought on gamely the Rodney Northam-trained hope didn't have enough to overhaul the leader.
"She's probably a filly that wants further than 1300m so it wasn't a problem having her in a race like that first-up," Mirfin said.
"It was a good effort and she's a lovely filly. We've got a big opinion of her."