Another wonderful short program from Alena Kostornaia saw her take the lead at the European Figure Skating Championships in Graz, Austria.
The 16-year-old Grand Prix Final winner was less than a point shy of her world record set last month in Turin to take a lead of seven points into Saturday's free skate.
Anna Shcherbakova is second with Alexandra Trusova, the third member of the '3A' trained in Moscow by Eteri Tutberidze, completing the podium spots.
With quad jumps counting in the free skate, unlike the short program, Shcherbakova and Trusova will be hopeful of closing the gap on Kostornaia who does not have quads in her arsenal.
Kostornaia opened up with an excellent triple Axel followed by a triple Lutz and then a triple flip-triple toe loop combo in a scintillating routine.
But it is her artistry which sets her apart from her rinkmates, and that counts hugely in her favour in the shorter skate.
Kostornaia scored 84.92, just under a point off her world record, to take her now customary place at the head of affairs after the short program.
Trusova was the penultimate skater to go, but the twice world junior champion doubled what should have been an opening triple Axel to fall behind on Technical Elements Score.
She soon settled into her crowdpleasing routine though, landing a triple flip and then a spectacular triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination as she scored a season's best 74.95 to end the day in third.