GAI Waterhouse admitted to some uncustomary pre-race nerves but unbeaten colt Pierro waltzed away with the Run To The Rose.
The much-hyped battle between Pierro and All Too Hard failed to eventuate with the son of Lonhro stretching his record to seven from seven, ridden to the line with consummate ease by Nash Rawiller to assume Cox Plate favouritism.
"I have to admit I was even a little nervous today," Waterhouse said.
"I wasn't going to start him if I didn't think he could wipe the floor with these horses.
"He is an outstanding, outstanding colt. He is Australia's best by far."
When betting opened on the Group Three race earlier in the week, Pierro went up at $2.20 with All Too Hard pressing at $2.50.
Punters were on the right track with Pierro starting the $1.55 favourite with All Too Hard out to $4.80 on race day and barely raising a whimper, finishing fifth of the six runners.