Watching his thoroughbred horse Casabella Lane at the back of the pack in last year's Japan Cup, the heart of trainer Jim Pender sank deep in his chest.
Then the 6-year-old mare picked up her pace, snuck past the other horses and galloped her way to victory. Mr Pender was ecstatic.
"I felt pure joy, it was really special because she's not a very big horse... but she's got a big heart," he said.
Twelve months on, Casabella Lane is back and Mr Pender is determined to retain the trophy and the title that goes with it.
Mr Pender has two horses competing in the feature race - Casabella Lane and Our Star Pupil - and four others in the race meet.
This Saturday is the Bayleys International Race Day featuring the Windsor Park Stud Japan Trophy - one of the premiere races in the Bay of Plenty.
It has been an annual fixture on Racing Tauranga's schedule for more than 40 years and attracts horses, jockeys and trainers from all over the country, Don Paterson, TRAC marketing and sponsorship manager said.
"It certainly is our premier raceday and that means it's the best quality of racing of the year," he said.
This weekend will also be a chance for guests to dig into their wardrobes and find their fashionable frocks, fascinators and classic suits for the Fashion in the Field event.
Guests should dress to impress in hats, heels and handbags for their chance to win a share of $8000.
"Raddison Plaza Resort Fashions in the Field will showcase the style and glamour of people of the Bay," Mr Paterson said.
"There's a lot of prize money up for grabs as well as a trip for two to Tahiti."
The three Fashion in the Fields categories are: Augustine International Women's High Fashion for people over 18, Augustine International Women's Classic Racewear for women over 35 and the Robertson's Menswear Men's Classic Racewear open to men over 18.
Mr Paterson said the whole day would be lots of fun with live music and children's entertainment.
The event is BYO, however, limits apply.
Bayleys International Race Day featuring the Windsor Park Stud Japan Trophy
Where: Tauranga Racecourse.
Cost: Adults $10, under 18 free.