New Zealand galloper He's Remarkable left his connections pondering what might have been after winning the Visit Victoria Handicap at Flemington.
The Group One $1 million Emirates Stakes (1600m) was the original target but the 4-year-old couldn't get a start 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 and missing out on a top-two finish in the Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley 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.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy produced a Houdini-like effort to get He's Remarkable out of a pocket.
In a desperate finish, He's Remarkable scored by a short head from Eraset, 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."AAP