New Zealand galloper He's Remarkable left his connections pondering what might have been after winning the Visit Victoria Handicap at Flemington.
The four-year-old crossed the Tasman with Saturday's Group One $1 million Emirates Stakes (1600m) as his target but couldn't get a start as the fourth emergency and had to settle for a consolation win in a race worth a tenth as much.
Trainer Roger James said it was always a risk to bring He's Remarkable to Melbourne with his relatively low rating and that missing out on a top-two finish in the Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day proved costly.
"We dearly wanted to run in the big race today with 52kg but we knew when we came across that we probably had to run one-two at Moonee Valley," James said.
"The rain that came after scratching time at Moonee Valley cost us as he is a horse who loves a flint-hard track.
"We won't look back now, it will only make us sad.
"It's a privilege to have a runner at this carnival and to have a winner is the icing on the cake."
He's Remarkable finished third to Testa My Patience in the Crystal Mile (1600m) on October 22.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy had to produce a Houdini-like effort to get He's Remarkable out of a pocket on Saturday, trapped behind Shenzou Steeds, and finally found some room as the race threatened to get away from him.
In the last 300 metres James had his heart in his mouth as McEvoy searched for a run but was able to breathe a sigh of relief when He's Remarkable poked through to hit the front 50 metres from the post.
In a desperate finish He's Remarkable scored by a short head from Eraset, who also had little luck in running, with Finiguerra a neck away third.
"I thought it was a huge effort today with 59kg," James said.
"He was held up and it is hard to come out of pockets with 59 and get up."
McEvoy said He's Remarkable's sluggishness from the barriers cost him a forward position and he was back in the second half of the field.
"He didn't begin as well as we wanted and was awkwardly placed, but his turn of foot got him out of trouble," McEvoy said.