It was the perfect dress rehearsal that has Canberra trainer Matthew Dale confidant he can climb Kosciuszko.
Man Of Peace made it back-to-back wins in Sydney when he cruised to victory in the benchmark 94 handicap (1300 metres) at Randwick on Saturday, adding to his victory at Kensington last start.
The eight-year-old gelding now has an imposing record at Randwick, winning four of his nine starts there - with three placings as well.
That points Dale in the direction of the $1.3 million Kosciuszko (1200m) on October 17 as part of the undercard for the $13 million Everest.
How he gets there is another matter, with Dale set to spend the next few days mapping out a course towards one of Australia's richest race days.
"We brought him back in trip [from 1400m] to see whether he'd put his hand up for a Kosciuszko start and that's what today was about," Dale said.
"He put his hand well-and-truly up and there'd be no other horse with as good credentials at Randwick in the Kosciuszko make-up so we've definitely got to have a crack at it."
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While the Kosciuszko is still two-and-a-half months away, Dale felt apprentice jockey Louise Day would likely stay on board the son of Zariz.
She's ridden Man Of Peace three times for three wins.
It seems the gelding is a bit of a ladies man - he's had five wins and three places from eight starts with female jockeys on board, while only one win and three places from eight starts under men since joining Dale's stable.
"A little bit of water to go under the bridge, but I think at this stage we would leave Louise on wherever he goes," Dale said.
"She's riding extremely well and has got the key to him and understands him.
"He's had five Saturday wins with me and all of them have been with female jockeys."
Day and Man Of Peace shot out to a commanding seven-length lead at one stage before holding on for a comfortable 2.3-length win.
Kordia and You Make Me Smile fought it out for the minor placings.
"We were there to ride him a heavy on-speed run. That's how he likes to race and that suits on these heavy tracks," Dale said.
"That was the idea to go out at a genuine, free-rolling tempo and that's what he did."
Dale said the races had a different feel during the coronavirus pandemic.
While there are small crowds allowed, it's not the usual thousands of people that would flock to Randwick on a Saturday.
Normally, he would be able to hang around for the entire day's racing if he wanted to, but in the current climate he simply went up to saddle up his two horses running and then came straight home after their races.
"Obviously big crowds create more atmosphere and more cheering. From that point of view it does detract a little bit - it makes it a little bit more business like," Dale said.
"But there's still a bit of a crowd there. They've still got enough people ... there compared to what we went through when it was in full lockdown."
Queanbeyan trainer Joe Cleary's Girls Are Ready finished third to Not Feint Hearted in the benchmark 72 handicap (1300m) earlier in the day at Randwick.