Muscle Factory booked his place in the group one Victoria Derby final.
Coming off an Australasian record with his victory in the Simpson Memorial at Menangle earlier this month, the Wagga owned pacer booked his place in the blue riband event.
Bred and still part owned by Jared Kahlefeldt, Muscle Factory finished second behind Im Another Masterpiece in the second of the heats at Ballarat on Saturday.
Working his way to the front, Muscle Factory couldn’t hold of the Kiwis charge to go down by 2.9 metres.
It was the quickest of the three heats, with a mile rate of 1:55.9.
The $200,000 final is at Melton on Saturday.
Former Temora horseman Rickie Alchin could line up in another group one feature on the same night.
Coming off a win at Menangle on Saturday, Alchin indicated he’s likely to head south once more with Tough Monarch for the Great Southern Star.
It was Tough Monarch’s first start since finishing 12th in the Inter Dominion Final last month.