The "what-ifs" surrounding the absence of the Australian Guineas pre-post favourite All Too Hard at Flemington on Saturday will never be definitively answered.
But Jim Conlan and long-time owner Jonathan Munz are entitled to at least one well-earned response after Ferlax claimed the Group One feature. "Who cares."
"It's a shame for the All Too Hard team that they couldn't run," Conlan said.
"But we did and I think we have a very good, very exciting horse."
All Too Hard came out of the Guineas on race morning after he was found to have a slight cold, leaving the race wide open to a field of what appeared to be second-tier three-year-olds.
Whether that proves to be the case remains to be seen, but several runners turned in performances encouraging enough for them to take on the star colt with new confidence.
As well as the winner, outstanding efforts came from runner-up, the filly You're So Good, third placegetter Sheer Talent who raced outside the lead from barrier 15 and Hvasstan who came from last of the 15 on the turn to be fourth.
But Ferlax ($17) got what he deserved in his first attempt in town, making it four wins from as many starts with his half-length defeat of You're So Good ($9.50) with Sheer Talent ($9) another three-quarters of a length away third.
For Conlan the victory came after seven years without a Group One success, his previous winner at the top level being Above Deck in the 2006 Doomben Cup.
Two years before that he trained Danestorm to win the Brisbane Cup which was then a Group One race.
Ferlax's win also capped a successful return to Melbourne for jockey Stephen Baster who was mysteriously and controversially banished from Singapore a month ago.
"He was always bolting," Baster said.
"But I expected them to leave me flat-footed when they sprinted.
"They didn't though, it was the other way around."
As well as the $300,000 the win earned for Munz, it also made his recent purchase of Ferlax's mother as wise as it was timely.
Munz paid $25,000 for the Marscay mare Legs Akimbo only last week, a valuation that her Group One-winning son has multiplied many times.
Conlan said he would probably freshen Ferlax for the All Aged Stakes at Randwick on April 27 with the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm also a possibility.
All Too Hard, meanwhile, is due to travel to Sydney within the next few weeks, but his program is yet to be decided.