A blistering course record by Snitzerland in the Challenge Stakes has been coupled with the safe return to racing by Hay List, fourth in Saturday's Group Two race.
Snitzerland ran 56.16 seconds for the Warwick Farm 1000 metres when she rattled home after handing up the lead to Hay List mid-race.
Form overrode sentiment when Snitzerland was backed into $3.30 favouritism after Hay List had been at $2 late in the week.
"She's a little ripper," trainer Gerald Ryan said of Snitzerland.
"I was surprised when Hay List led her but I knew fitness was never going to beat her."
Fitness did beat Hay List who looked as if he would run second until a few metres from the post when Decision Time ($19) and Howmuchdoyouloveme ($10) passed him.
Decision Time finished second, 2-3/4 lengths from the winner with Howmuchdoyoulove me another half length third.
Corey Brown was full of praise for Snitzerland.
"I've ridden her quite a bit leading up to this and she is going really well," he said.
"We got a sweet run and when I saw Hay List dropping off, I released her."
Glyn Schofield was equally happy with Hay List who has been battling a hoof infection, the latest in a string of injuries.
"He was very good and free in his action," he said.
"But he was running on empty coming around the corner. He was going to run second but then he stopped."
Relieved trainer John McNair was more than happy with Hay List.
"It's as good as a win," he said.
"The foot abscess has been a concern. If it was a front foot and not a hind one, he wouldn't have been racing.
"It would have stopped 99 out of a hundred horses."