Ash Stanley delivered her old man an early Christmas present on Mudgee Cup day.
The apprentice jockey guided Not Negotiating ($6.50) home with a near perfect ride to claim the $75,000 Robert Oatley Vineyards Mudgee Cup Showcase, the champion mare trained by Ash's father Peter Stanley.
The pair regularly team up and have enjoyed their share of success together, last year's efforts on board The Long Run - bringing up wins in Mudgee, Warren, Bathurst, Dubbo and Forbes in the one preparation - a memorable run.
While the Stanleys have also enjoyed great wins with now-Mudgee Cup champ Not Negotiating, too, taking out last year's Cotton Cup at Warren as a jockey-trainer pair. In fact, Ash has ridden all bar one of Not Negotiating's six career wins.
And Friday's Mudgee Cup victory is arguably their finest of the lot, Ash revealing post-race she and her father's pre-race plan unfolded almost perfectly over the course of the 1600 metres.
"She usually gets back and I got her to the fence as quickly as I could. She sat there and traveled nicely. Her run at Canterbury (where she ran fourth on a heavy 10) showed she's good enough to win here today. She did it hands down, easy," Ash said.
Jumping in front of a huge crowd at the Mudgee Race Club, it was Clint Lundholm's Notabadidea ($16) that set the early pace while top weight, Mack Griffith's Rule The World ($7.50), looked strong early on despite carrying 61-kilograms.
It was pre-race favourite Highly Desired that made the first move, though, and when Claire Lever's seven-year-old made its move, it was decisive.
The $4.40 hope put a length between itself and the pack rounding the bend, and maintained the gap until about the 500-metre mark.
Highly Desired was then swamped, and although he proved brave down the straight, he was never in the fight for placings.
Those challenges would come on the inside, and late outwide, but it was the Stanleys that timed their run to perfection.
Notabadidea again found the lead at the top of the straight but it didn't take long for Not Negotiating to find the rail and blaze to the lead.
That rail's run proved telling, and despite One Aye ($7), from the Jones training team in Canberra, roaring to life late in the final furlong with a wide run for the line, it was the father-daughter combination lapping it up back in the parade ring.
The heavy 9 rating for the course did result in a number of late scratchings, and certainly the Cup had some real quality pull out of the field - Nick Olive's Maid of Ore and the Bjorn Baker-trained Ladylovestogamble two of those star horses.
But nothing could be taken away from Stanleys on Friday.
"It is a nice horse. Very nice horse," Ash added.
Earlier, Cameron Crockett's Christmases came early when he picked up the quinella in the $50,000 Montrose Mudgee Cup Day Sprint Showcase to sit alongside two other wins.
Returning home for one of his favourite race meetings on the calendar, the now-Scone based Crockett's class shone through with Reiby's Regent ($5.50) impressing over the 1200-metre sprint feature to pick up the gelding's fourth career win.
Champion sprinter Sharpe Hussler ($9.50) ran second, Crockett's pair a clear one-two with Stanley's hope, The Long Run ($14), three lengths back in third.
Crockett then picked up another win in the last, too, with Rory Hutchings guiding Limited Reality to victory as the $3.20 favourite in the $50,000 Craigmoor Country Magic Benchmark 58 Showcase Handicap after also enjoying success in the earlier run Benchmark 66 with $9-hope Santa Margherita.
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