Pre-race plans devised by trainer David Hayes for Whisper Downs amounted to nothing when the gates opened in the BMW Handicap (2000m) at Caulfield.
But a cool head and some improvisation on the part of apprentice Chad Schofield kept Whisper Downs' chances alive and the horse did the rest.
"Our plan was to lead, but that didn't last long," Hayes said.
"We ended up last when they settled down and I wasn't sure what would happen.
"Thankfully Chad didn't panic. He adapted very well."
Whisper Downs ($6) improved in the first 800m with Schofield getting on to the back of Craig Williams and the $1.50 favourite Practiced, peeling out at the top of the straight and surviving in the drive to the line to score by a short head.
The win was the second from four runs this time in for Whisper Downs who had scored last start at Bendigo.
"He lost his way last preparation but I think he's right on track again now," Hayes said.
Luke Nolen also had to adopt non-preferred tactics on the favourite Chateau Margaux ($2.35) in the Thomas Sabo Watches Handicap (1800m).
But it had no effect on the result with the mare's class carrying her to a three-quarter length win over Manila Jewel ($6.50).
Chateau Margaux settled in midfield and began her winning run 400m from home and taking control in the final 150m.
"He rode her closer than what I think is ideal," Moody said.
"I think she quickens better if she sits further off them."
Moody will now look for an all-important black type victory for the mare who is already stakes-placed and will consider running her in next month's Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m).