He might have been up against opposition described as modest at best but imported stayer Hathras kept alive his chances of running in the richest weight-for-age race of the Sydney autumn carnival with a runaway Warwick Farm win on Thursday.
Taking on three rivals over 2200m, Hathras made a one-act affair of the Hunts Comfort Inn Handicap to give trainer Kris Lees more reason to think he could take a sooner rather than later leap into Group One company.
"He's still in the BMW but it's a long way from here and whether he runs might depend on the attrition rate. There are a few horses dropping out of it already," Lees said.
With that in mind, Lees will be an interested onlooker when Saturday's traditional lead-up race to the $2.25 million BMW - the Ranvet Stakes - is run at Rosehill.
"There are a few options and we'll let the dust settle but we'll see what stands up after the Ranvet," he said.
Hathras opened at $1.26 but there was no shortage of support for the British-bred with German form who started at $1.24.
He took up the running and extended his lead from the 600m to post a nine-length winning margin over Miss Opulence ($17) who finished a long neck ahead of French Gift ($5.50).
"You've got to put the win into perspective ... he took on mediocre opposition," Lees said.
While the merit of the form might be suspect, the clock confirmed Hathras had a genuine future.
He broke a long-standing class record with a turn of speed that returned a 34.96 seconds final 600 metres.
Hathras is also a Sydney Cup entry, giving Lees an end-of-carnival option for the four-year-old who is now a $17 chance to win the BMW.
"All the attributes I have seen from him point to him being a two-miler," Lees said.
Hathras continued a golden patch for Lees with overseas horses after the emergence of Award Season who, like Hathras, was imported by syndicators Australian Bloodstock.
"Award Season is in the paddock after doing a good job but we always thought this horse (Hathras) was better," Lees said.