The Villiers Stakes has loomed as a realistic target for Malavio, who has given trainer Steve Englebrecht some anxious moments throughout his winter campaign, none more so than during his Civic Stakes win.
Englebrecht watched Saturday's Listed feature in horror as Nathan Berry had the three-year-old last to the turn after a slow start.
Luckily the jockey didn't panic and he brought Malavio ($6) with a well-timed run down the outside to beat favourite Famous Seamus ($5) by 2-1/4 lengths.
Malavio suffered cardiac arrhythmia four starts back at Rosehill, a condition Englebrecht said he was feeling throughout the race.
"I had it a furlong out," Englebrecht said.
"It wasn't the plan to be back last. I thought he would be two pairs back.
"Nathan obviously used Plan B but there wasn't a Plan B."
After his initial shock, Englebrecht was full of praise for Malavio.
"He is absolutely flying," he said.
"The 1400 metres did the trick.
"After what he's done today he may be better than I thought he was.
"He's still very green and big and gangly.
"Without being too optimistic, I'd like to give him a freshen-up and the Villiers might be a nice race for him.
"I certainly think 1600 metres will be no problem."
While Englebrecht was concerned, Berry had no worries throughout the race.
"He was slowly away and I just let him bide his time," Berry said.
"He can pull a bit if you get at him.
"He's new at the caper and shows a lot of talent.
"We had a lovely run. I had no worries."
Trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith's opinion of runner-up Famous Seamus hasn't changed despite the loss.
"He was four-deep all the way and that didn't help," he said.
"It was a run that doesn't deserve to go to the losers' bar.
"But that's where we're going.
"I'm happy with him. I haven't had a horse this good since 2003."
That horse was Landsighting, winner of the Stradbroke Handicap and the sprinter Mayfield-Smith holds in higher esteem than Caulfield Guineas winner In Top Swing and on a par with Angst, winner of the 1993 Princess Series which culminated in her Group One Flight Stakes victory.