Hammond Lane may have been enduring a winless drought of close to two years heading into Friday's Robert Oatley Vineyards Mudgee Cup Showcase (1600m) but a "perfect" run saw him return to form in memorable fashion.
The Jeff Englebrecht-trained Hammond Lane took out Friday's feature in front of an almighty crowd in a true show of fight and determination.
Hirokin challenged until the end but Hammond Lane, who led for much of the trip, kept grinding out in front and held on to win the $75,000 cup in thrilling fashion.
The result ended a 99-week wait for another victory, a stretch going back to when Hammond Lane saluted at Canterbury in January of last year.
"He got the perfect run and he was cruising beautifully," Englebrecht said to Sky Thoroughbred Central after jockey Grant Buckley returned to the yard with the winner.
"Today up there [at the front] there was nothing around him and with no horses around him he felt really comfortable and he cruised along.
"It all worked out well."
Having blinkers back on also played a real impact as Hammond Lane had been battling for consistency and effort in recent starts.
Hammond Lane ($12) won by a half-head from the gallant nine-year-old Hirokin ($41), trained by Jarrod Austin, while the Peter Bloomfield-trained Life O'Brien ($11) was third.
"I had my head down towards the end, I just didn't look because I knew it was tight," winning jockey Buckley said.
"It was all smooth. A real credit to the track here today too, the way it's presented is impressive considering the drought."