There may have been some unexpected challenges in the early goings, but Doug Hewitt left the Dubbo Harness Racing track with a maiden win for Ben Settree's Lady Rosalita.
The four year old filly sat only slightly behind Steve Turnbull's Southern Millions ($2.15) in the bookie's eyes, valued at $2.90, but spent most of the races settled in behind the Nathan Turnbull driven Malinjang.
Starting from the fourth spot in the front row, Lady Rosalita had to work through some early adversity to manage her way to the death seat, with Southern Millions boxed in behind Malinjang on one side and Brad Peisley's Bradness Shot pushing in on the other flank.
But once she got there, there was little that could stop the four year old her first win, in just the second start of her career after struggling at Bathurst earlier this year.
"Her final lap wan't too bad, the first lap, though, she didn't carry the bit too well, she wasn't really interested at all, but we got her up there and sitting in the death was probably the best spot for her," Hewitt said.
"She could sort of dictate the pace from there, and once I had the horse to my inside beat, I was mainly just bouncing her up."
While there's still plenty of work and development to be done, Hewitt seemed satisfied with what Settree's filly had shown in her first win.
"She's still got a few sketchy steps in her for sure, but she felt super good turning for home and she's a real good racehorse, she just loves to fight it out," Hewitt said.
Lady Rosalita dragged back the lead from Malinjang in the final stage of the race, beating them, Southern Millions and Bradness Shot along the final stretch to lunge ahead and claim the win in the opening Maiden Pace.
Hewitt couldn't fault the bolter's comfort levels in that final, mad dash to the finishing line, with Lady Rosalina proving herself a comfortable battler when boxed in and forced to work forward.
"She was definitely comfortable, it took her a bit to turn and straighten, because she can get a bit rough, but she just loves that kind of race as soon as there's other horses around her," Hewitt said.
"She just proved too good today, especially working down that side."
Brad Peisley and Bradness Shot took the second place finish, just a hair ahead of Steve Turnbull and Southern Millions.
Another Settree horse, Dizygotic Lass, with Justin Reynolds sitting in the gig, settled in fourth place, squeaking past Malinjang.
She's still got a few sketchy steps in her, but she felt super good turning for home and she's a real good racehorse, she just loves to fight it out.Doug Hewitt