Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Chris Waller was quick to withdraw The Gong hopeful Reloaded from Thursday's Ladies Day Cup at Hawkesbury and keep him fresh for the $1 million feature, at Kembla Grange on November 20.
As the track dropped into the Heavy range amid the persistent rain, the stable made the decision to make the five-year-old gelding a late scratching.
Instead, stable representative Charlie Duckworth confirmed he will now head to the mile race at the Illawarra Turf Club, six weeks between runs since the Epsom Handicap.
"He's had two goes on Heavy for two failures, basically," Duckworth told Sky Racing before Thursday's race. "It's just not worth it, he goes really well fresh, so we'll just go straight to The Gong instead.
"He's a horse that will win a big race and in handicap conditions, The Gong should suit him well."
Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott had their sights set on The Gong as well with import Grove Ferry, who had his first start in Australia, but did not handle the conditions and trailed off last.
The Ladies Day Cup has become a curcial form line for The Gong, after the Hawkes-trained Archedemus, formerly with Gwenda Markwell, taking out the race last year.
Waller took out the inaugural The Gong with Mister Sea Wolf.
As if Chris Waller hasn't enjoyed this week enough.
Verry Elleegant was breathtaking in winning the Melbourne Cup with James McDonald aboard on Tuesday, but the trainer and jockey combined again for another extraordinary success on Oaks Day.
Arriving off a Warwick Farm Maiden win on debut, three-year-old filly Espiona has bolted in by 6.5 lengths in the Listed Desirable Stakes over 1400m on Thursday.
"She's special, just the way she does it so easy," McDonald told Network Ten.
"It definitely feel embarrassed, taking my riding fee for that one, but she is a very, very smart filly.
"Once we got into the right spots I was very comfortable, she's just so push-button.
"I don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but she feels like a proper horse."
Kembla Grange trainer Anthony Mountney's recent run of form continued as Colonel powered to victory in a Benchmark 64 over 1100m.
The four-year-old gelding has been around the mark but hasn't won in 12 months, but would not be denied on Thursday, holding off Major Murphy and third-placed favourite Daichi.
It's Mountney's third winner in his last four starts, as Chiranjeev broke his Maiden at Kembla Grange on Tuesday and Canzonet took out the Mollymook Cup earlier this month.