“This is the best he has raced, even though he is eight. His feet have been right this this time and he is showing what he can do.
“He has just beaten three Everest horses there and beat another couple the other day.
"The family just gets better at eight. I have had three from the mare [Parfore] to win stakes races at eight.
“We'll go to Melbourne for the Moir Stakes [on September 28] and try and get that group 1, and then maybe the Everest, who knows.”
The Shorts was robbed of bit of interest when The Everest favourite Redzel was a morning scratching after showing muscle soreness. He will be fully vetted before continuing his campaign.
“He struggled to get out of the box,” Peter Snowden said. “He’s obviously got cast somewhere but there’s not a mark on him.
“At the moment he’s stiff and sore, like he’s pulled a muscle somewhere. We’ll know more in the next 48 hours.”
It was a smart ride from Glyn Schofield on Ball Of Muscle, who bounced to the lead and, when Invincible Star was slowly away, he was able to control the race.
“After I got to the front, I was able to get him to come back under me,” Schofield said. “Coming to the turn I let him flow up the rise and really made them chase, and although they were coming at me, I was holding them on the line.”
Ball Of Muscle ($5) had a half-head to spare on the post from Invincible Star ($2.70 fav), with the unlucky Brave Smash ($4.40) three-quarters of a length back in third.
The placegetters both got passes with respect to their Everest hopes, while English was disappointing as she dropped out to run sixth.
English held up Brave Smash in the straight for a long way. When he got clear, he powered to the line. He will have another run in the Moir Stakes before The Everest.