Gai Waterhouse would have been excused for second guessing the riding tactics aboard Julienas at Rosehill on Saturday.
The windy conditions had contributed to the defeat of her first two runners – Ecuador and Aussies Love Sport – who came undone as odds-on favourites in the opening two races.
Both leaders were impacted by the strong wind which had many riders adamant horses were going to have to find cover to be competitive.
But Waterhouse opted not to change her game plan for Julienas despite his on-pace racing style and she was rewarded when he led throughout to capture the Group Three Colin Stephen Quality(2400m).
“I thought, `you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t’,” Waterhouse said.
“We just had to get in and do what we know we do best.”
In a farcical run down the straight the first time, no rider was in a hurry to go to the front.
Nash Rawiller eventually took Julienas to the lead and let him bowl along as he liked before making it a sprint home from the 600 metres.
An easing favourite ($2.20 to $2.60), Julienas proved too tough for I’m Imposing ($5.5) to score by two lengths with Planet Purple another 1-1/2 lengths away third.
Waterhouse confirmed Julienas would back-up in next Saturday’s Metropolitan (2400m) which she will be striving to win for the ninth time.
With last year’s Metropolitan winner Glencadam Gold already in Melbourne and set to have his next start in the Turnbull Stakes, Julienas is Waterhouse’s only confirmed Metropolitan runner.
Ecuador could join him although he is also being considered for a start in the Epsom Handicap (1600m) on the same day.
Waterhouse has no doubt Julienas will be tough to beat in the Group One.
“He’s got it written all over him doesn’t he,” she said.
“He’s a terrific horse. A war horse.”
I’m Imposing’s trainer Chris Waller said they would decide midweek whether their charge would back up at Randwick.
Lucripetous and Moriarty are confirmed Metropolitan starters for Sydney’s premier trainer.