As the bubble burst on Nechita, Peter Snowden celebrated a quinella in the first Group One race of the season, the $1 million Golden Rose at Rosehill on Saturday.
Sent out at $2.50 favourite, Nechita found the 1400 metres a bridge too far, weakening to sixth, leaving Darley colts Epaulette ($13) and Albrecht ($10) to fight out the finish with the former the winner by a head.
It was the third win in the race for Snowden following Forensics (2008) and Denman (2009) but a first Group One for jockey Tommy Berry, a ride that wasn't originally his.
Stable jockey Kerrin McEvoy opted to ride Albrecht and Brisbane's Damian Browne elected to stay home, leaving Snowden scratching for a rider.
"I had Damian Browne booked but he wanted to stay in Brisbane which left me hanging," Snowden said.
"I'd already knocked back a couple of riders but Tommy was a good substitute and it's great to give him his first Group One."
The result was a triumph for Sheikh Mohammed's Australian breeding program with Commands colt Epaulette now on a path to emulate his three-quarter brother Helmet, last year's Caulfield Guineas winner.
"This is what it's about and it's fantastic for the stable," Snowden said.
"That last furlong (200m) was amazing. I can't describe how good it is.
"Epaulette was set for this and I'm very proud of the other horse.
"And the mare, Epaulette's dam Accessories, is a champion.
"Helmet was a horse with untapped potential."
Helmet campaigned unsuccessfully in Europe earlier this year along with stablemate Sepoy with the pair now back at Darley for the breeding season.
The Nathan Tinkler-owned Nechita hit the front in the straight but was quickly swamped with Epaulette and Albrecht making their runs together.
Ashokan ($51) raced on the pace all the way and held his position for third, 2-1/4 lengths from Albrecht.
"Epaulette will go to Melbourne now for the Caulfield Guineas Prelude while Albrecht will stay in Sydney for the Stan Fox," Snowden said.
The race was held up for a couple of minutes while Albrecht, who had a blindfold on, refused to go into his barrier stall.
"He has a few quirks and they rushed him in," Snowden said.
"It won't happen again."
Berry is retained by Gai Waterhouse who had Kabayan ($4.40) in the race with Nash Rawiller riding him to fifth.
"Apart from the boss, these are the best colours to ride in," Berry said.
"It's an unbelievable feeling."
Nechita's rider Christian Reith said the filly ran well despite being beaten.
"She didn't run out the 1400 metres strongly," he said.
"Back to 1200 metres and she will be dominant again."
Ashokan's trainer John O'Shea will also target the Caulfield Guineas with his charge.
"I'm stoked," he said.
"He needed to have a good run today to prove he was on an upward spiral.
"I think he is and I hope I'm proved right."