Wednesday night's Bathurst RSL Soldiers Saddle Final ended in a thrilling conclusion, with just two metres separating the first six horses home.
John Boserio's Hes Sweet ($51, Anthony Frisby) came away with the upset victory just ahead of Dont Tell Phyllis ($26, Amy Rees) while the John Lew-trained All Spruced Up ($18, John O'Shea) was third.
A host of chances came surging down the outside in the straight but it was Hes Sweet on the inside who just got his head in front when it mattered.
O'Shea and All Spruced Up had produced an impressive run through the middle of the track but had to settle for third after winning his heat a week prior.
Elsewhere on Wednesday night, Mitch Turnbull had a field day in the NSW Breeders Challenge Regional 3YO C&G Heats, cruising to comfortable wins in both qualifiers.
Turnbull spent more time staring at the big screen compared to what was ahead of him during the last 50 metres of each race, admiring the big margins he enjoyed on board Major Bracken and Saint Julien.
Major Bracken ($1.25 favourite) led all the way, as punters expected, to take out the opening heat before Saint Julien ($13) repeated that effort in the next event at bigger odds, giving Steve Turnbull an early training double.
Having recently raced in the Group 1 Breeders Challenge Final at Menangle (finishing ninth) it was expected that Major Bracken would prove far too good for his rivals when dropping back in class to the regional series on his home track.
That was indeed the case.
Major Bracken found the lead after an early challenge from both Rosarito and Bridge Coin, but from there he had it all his own way.
He gained a small break on the field coming into the turn for home and after a couple of taps from the whip from Turnbull it was all over for his rivals.
Major Bracken was able to ease up over the closing 100m to beat Cassius Deck ($9, Steve Turnbull) and Tamanisha Terror ($26, Amanda Turnbull) in a Steve Turnbull-trained trifecta.
He still came home in a handy mile rate of 1:55:1 despite switching off several strides out from the winning post.
"His benchmark here was around 1:55, and I felt good about the draw, but you just never know when you're coming back from Menangle," he said.
"Sometimes it's not so certain how they'll go when they're back home but thankfully tonight he was back to his old self and got the job done.
"He's always really consistent, especially at Bathurst. It's his favourite track. Now we just have to hope for a good draw and a bit of luck."
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