PETER Bullock explained after the Happy 60th Birthday Garry Porter Pace on Wednesday night that he owed Ben Settree a favour following a bad race fall that put Bullock's drivers Max Hughes and Mick Munroe out of action for a few weeks.
By the end of that race Bullock had paid his debt to The Lagoon trainer after timing his run perfectly on former Bathurst Gold Crown finalist Bourgeoisie who picked up his first win since October last year.
"When our two boys were hurt in a race fall Ben came and helped me and did as much as he could, he had no reason to do that other than just being a good man so I felt like I owed him one which is why I've driven this horse from time to time," Bullock explained.
"I've always liked him as a horse, he always has a real go no matter what his form is like and he went well tonight."
Coming off consecutive wins at Dubbo and Bathurst, Wendy Turnbull's gelding Ragin Rhuben started a $1.70 favourite and for much of the race he looked like he was going to make it three in a row as driver Emma Turnbull controlled the tempo of the 2130 metre trip perfectly.
Settling at the front from gate three, the four-year-old got through two relaxed opening quarters of 32.5 and 32.3 seconds without breaking a sweat, as only Moonshinestudleigh ($19.60) applied any real pressure sitting outside the leader.
All the while Bourgeoisie ($5.20) was battling along at the back of the field alongside Peter Trevor-Jones' entry Why So Serious ($11.90) and at times prior to the bell lap the pair looked a chance of losing contact with the main field altogether.
That didn't happen though and by the time they passed the post for the final lap Bullock had shifted his runner three wide and began to pull back ground on the front-runners.
Raging Rhuben still held the advantage but when Emma Turnbull put the foot down (28.3 third quarter) it didn't quite have the desired effect and the chasing pack were still in close range as they entered the final bend.
The leader put in a brave effort and held on to front spot up until the final 50 metres or so but by this stage Bullock and Bourgeoisie were in the middle of the track and flying home, and they finally got to the front just in time to register a victory by a neck.
Raging Rhuben held off outsider Silky Rose ($41) who was a head away in third.
The final quarter was a 30.6 for a 2.04.6 mile-rate.
Bullock admitted that when Bourgeoisie made his run he wasn't sure he'd have the kick to get past the leader.
"I didn't think he'd go on with it there for a while but just in the last bit of the race he managed to kick clear," he said.
The win was the ninth of the gelding's career from 53 starts, along with 16 minors and took his earnings to just shy of the $48,000-mark.