Mark Zahra aboard Humidor (Image: Racing Photos)
Stablemates Humidor and Tosen Stardom emerged from Saturday's Blamey Stakes at Flemington with vastly different futures after they topped-and-tailed the Group 2.
Humidor confirmed his autumn path to the Doncaster Handicap at Randwick and then a mouth-watering rematch with Winx in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes when he put away his four rivals with a trademark finishing burst.
But it was a much different story for Tosen Stardom, who was five-and-a-half lengths behind the second-last horse.
Tosen Stardom, who started the $2.40 favourite, will be thoroughly vetted after his poor performance, with jockey Brad Rawiller resigned to veterinarians finding a fault with him.
"In the next 24 hours, I think something will come up because you don't run that poorly when you are a good horse like him," Rawiller said.
"That just wasn't him."
Trainer Darren Weir was equally puzzled.
"It's great for the connections of the winner and not so good for the other horse because he ran well-below par," Weir said.
"He looked to travel too fierce and not relaxed and mouth opened so I'm not sure about what's going on."
As for the Cox Plate runner-up's return to the winners' list, Weir said: "You sort of expect him to work home like that.
"He'll go now to the Doncaster. He's had a great prep towards that.
"Ideally, you didn't want to see him lay-in late - he can be a bit tricky like that - but he got the job done.
"He looks like he's on track. I'm not sure about the other one. I don't know what to do there."
Depending on how Tosen Stardom pulls up, Australian racing may have seen the last of the former Japanese galloper on the track.
Tosen Stardom has won two Group 1s - the Toorak Handicap and Mackinnon Stakes - and is already booked to begin life as a stallion at Woodside Park in Victoria next spring.