Australian super mare Sunline was defeated by a neck by champion 4-year-old Lonhro in Saturday's Group I Yalumba Stakes at Caulfield.
Trainer Trevor McKee said Sunline had confirmed she was on target for the Cox Plate and a rematch with Lonhro, last year's winner Northerly and Grandera from the world-dominant Godolphin stable.
Sunline, with jockey Greg Childs sneaking a peak over his shoulder at the 600-meter mark, had a three-length advantage as the field hit the final straight. The Bart Cummings-trained Ustinov was second with Lonhro and Darren Beadman another length away in third place.
It seemed Sunline was home free, but Lonhro would not be denied.
After passing, Lonhro caught Sunline a couple of strides from the post, going on to post the neck victory in a near-course record time of 2:00.6 for the 2,000 meters.
Ustinov was 5 1/2 lengths behind the two champions.
Lonhro, who won his second career Group I race, will next run will be in the Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Oct. 26.
And Sunline will be there too, her trainer said.