Pin-up mare More Joyous gave an early indication she is on track to repeat her stellar 2012 autumn campaign when winning a barrier trial at Randwick on Monday.
With regular jockey Nash Rawiller calling the shots, the six-year-old comfortably won the 1000-metre hit-out by two lengths from Strike The Stars and Miss Stellabelle.
More Joyous is expected to follow a similar path to last autumn when she was unbeaten from four starts.
Her return is anticipated to come in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) on March 23, the race she won first-up last year.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained star was one of the autumn’s top gallopers, also taking out the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes, the Group 1 Doncaster Mile and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
From 30 starts the daughter of More Than Ready has won 21 times and collected almost $4.5 million in prizemoney.
More Joyous and glamour colt Pierro will again spearhead Waterhouse’s autumn line up.
While racing fans have to wait another few weeks to see More Joyous back on race day, Pierro will make his return this Saturday in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill.
Last season’s two-year-old triple crown winner has had two trials to prepare for his first-up hit-out after a successful spring campaign.
The son of Lonhro backed up his outstanding juvenile form to win the Group 3 Run To The Rose and the Group 2 Stutt Stakes before running second in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas and third in the Cox Plate.
A star-studded list of nominations for the Hobartville Stakes was released on Monday including fellow Waterhouse-trained colt Proisir, unbeaten colt Rebel Dane and Group 1 winner It’s A Dundeel.