Former John Dunlop inmate Tawqeet won the Group One BMW Caulfield Cup in Australia on Saturday morning.
Now in the care of David Hayes, the four-year-old came with a late rattle and galloped past runner-up Aqua D'Amore under a perfectly-timed ride from Dwayne Dunn.
Japanese raider Delta Blues was third after enduring a wide passage from the outset, while Activiation landed fourth spot.
Tawqeet, third behind Scorpion in last year's St Leger, was having only his second run for Hayes, after his move from Dunlop's yard in Arundel.
Jamie Poulton's Land 'N Stars, ridden by Nick Ryan, trailed home last of the 18 runners.
'I'm desperately, desperately disappointed,' said Poulton. 'All my fears of how a Caulfield Cup would pan out came back to haunt me.
'The race was exactly how I expected but my horse is a stayer, not a sprinter, and needed a European-style ride.
'He (Ryan) is a local rider and found it difficult.
'I should have now perhaps gone for the Geelong Cup (a Group Three event over 12 furlongs on Wednesday) instead and got Kieren (Fallon) to ride him down there.
'He'll come on for a ton for that though and he'll appreciate the two miles in the Melbourne Cup.
'But as far as a jockey is concerned, I'm afraid it's back to the drawing-board.'
Tawqeet, who won the valuable Metropolitan Handicap on his penultimate start, is now the clear favourite for the Emirates Melbourne Cup on 7 November.
Hayes, successful in the Caulfield Cup with Fraar in 1993, said: 'It was a sensational ride.
'He's put in two (victories) in a row and he's only got one to go now.'