Pearce Racing’s new stable addition She’s Got Merit broke her maiden status first-up from a lengthy spell at Ascot on Wednesday when taking out the Glenroy Chaff Maiden (1100m).

Starting a $14 chance in her first start for 406 days, the Demerit four-year-old was tuned up with a smart trial win at Lark Hill on January 13 and was aided by a perfect ride by co-trainers Daniel and Ben Pearce’s stable apprentice, Chris Graham, at her race return.

Graham settled the mare three-back on the rail after jumping from barrier nine in the 12-horse field before peeling off the fence approaching the home straight and finishing strongly over the final furlong to defeat the well-supported favourite, Tommy Blue ($2.40), by a nose.

Trutiara ($4.20) finished a further half-length away in third place, with Artful Zoffany ($11) another half-length back in fourth.

She’s Got Merit, an eight-start maiden prior to Wednesday, showed early potential when placing at two of her first three starts as a two-year-old but failed to recapture that form at her next two preparations before arriving at the Pearce yard.

Meanwhile, progressive staying mare Baffling continued her consistent form when placing third in the Schweppes Handicap (2200m) at Ascot on Wednesday.

The Blackfriars four-year-old has now raced nine times in her debut race campaign, accumulating two wins, three minor placings, and $53,100 in total earnings.

Fellow Pearce-trained galloper Don’t Fuss is set to race third-up from a spell in Saturday’s $100,000 Listed Scenic Blast Stakes (1000m) at Ascot, with stablemate Dickoletto also engaged in a support race on the nine-event card.

[PHOTO: Western Racepix]

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