Brett Prebble landed an early winner and later had a narrow escape in the stewards' room following the return to the winner's list for Group 1-winning Kiwi mare Kahma Lass (Darci Brahma) in the Listed Weekend Hussler (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Prebble was severely reprimanded by stewards for allowing Kahma Lass to shift in as she unleashed a big finish in the home straight, which resulted in her taking third-placed Riddle Me That off his line.
"She was everywhere," Prebble later explained about last year's New Zealand 1000 Guineas winner.
"I had the whip in the left and the right, she had the visors so she could still see a little bit through those cups. Obviously, she's still very new and I tried to keep her as straight as I could.
"She was a bit new and has raw ability there."
On the back of a luckless unplaced first-up run at Caulfield in the How Now Stakes, Kahma Lass started at $10 on Saturday and finished too well for $2.50 favourite Buffalo River to win by three-quarters of a length, with Riddle Me That ($7.50) a long head away in third.
Prebble said he thought the mare would go close after being trapped wide with 59kg first-up.
"I thought she would (improve second-up)," he said. "Her work on Tuesday was really good.
"She was fit and ran a really good race under handicap conditions."
Prebble said he feared Kahma Lass might not be a victim of any bias to the leaders.
"After the first race I was scared that it would be on-speed bias but it will be a firm deck by the last race and hopefully it plays fair all day," he said.
The victory continued a tremendous beginning to the new season for Prebble, who has two G1 winners among 15 Melbourne victories over the first 10 weeks of 2021/22.