Runner-up in the 2015 Victoria Derby and second again in the South Australian Derby the following autumn, Etymology won a 2500m-handicap at Flemington last month and backed up with victory in the Bagot Handicap (2800m) at the same track on New Year's Day.
Kerrin McEvoy brought Etymology ($3.30 fav) up to the leaders in the straight and he hit the line strongly to hold off Naval Warfare ($3.70) by 1-1/4 lengths.
Fabrizio rallied to hold third.
“He is a happy horse and is coping with his training,” trainer James Cummings said.
“He is free in his action. He used to be a bit nervous before races but he is not any more.
“He could be a lightweight Sydney Cup chance.”
McEvoy was equally impressed.
“He jumped out with good intent and was in a nice spot,” he said.
“He is in good form and as a three-year-old he was placed in a Derby.”