Having staved off retirement for now, under-rated mare Jen Rules has earned herself a quicker than expected return to the races.
The five-year-old will take her place in the Group Two Golden Pendant (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday after belying her $31 starting price to finish runner-up to Haut Brion Her in the Sheraco Stakes.
Connections had originally planned to wait for next month's Nivison Stakes but co-trainer Peter Snowden said Jen Rules had all but forced their hand.
"I wasn't going to run her this Saturday but she has done so well and she pulled up really well, I thought I'd throw her in," Snowden said.
"She has come back in fantastic order. She is the best she has ever looked. She's got more strength on her, more muscle on her.
"It's not hard to see why she ran as well as she did the other day."
Jen Rules was tried in black-type company as a younger horse but wasn't up to the mark.
Given time and maturity, she has improved to become a genuine stakes-class mare, placing in successive Listed races in Brisbane during the winter and finishing fourth in the Group Two Dane Ripper Stakes.
Snowden believes that campaign has given her the ideal foundation to land a breakthrough black-type win this spring.
"You can't beat a bit of maturity and I think that solid grounding she had last prep stood her in good stead," he said.
"I'm really glad the boys decided to keep going with her. The plan was, when she got those stakes placings, to send her straight to stud and breed from her.
"But because she was going so close in them and getting better and better with each run she had, we thought why not give her another run through."
The Golden Pendant has attracted a quality field with the TAB reporting some early specking for the Brad Widdup-trained Adelong at double-figure odds.