Hell's Kitchen was crowned inaugural Grampians Halls Gap Cup winner on Friday after an exciting finish in the 1310-metre race at Stawell Racecourse.
The Mark Young-trained four-year-old gelding, ridden by Steven Vella, edged out eight-year-old gelding De Mars and four-year-old gelding Freshwater Storm in the photo-finish to claim the $9000 first prize.
Some Target, ridden by Horsham jockey Dean Yendall and trained by Darren Weir, was the Wimmera's best hope, finishing in fifth place.
The top five horses were separated by slightly more than a length in what was a thrilling finish.
The $3.60-favourite, the Peter Moody-trained four-year-old gelding Covered in Class, was well out of contention in sixth spot.
Stawell trainers Terry and Karina O'Sullivan also had two horses entered in the race, finishing seventh and eighth.
More than 500 racegoers from Victoria and South Australia were treated to near-perfect conditions in what Halls Gap Tourism chairman Geoff Watts described as a highly successful event.
"It was a fantastic day enjoyed by a large number of racing fans," he said.
Mr Watts said he hoped to make next year's event bigger and better.
"I'm almost 100 per cent sure it will go ahead again next year," he said.
"We are hoping to get some funding from the Victoria Racing Club next year and get a higher quality field.
"My aim is to keep this going for as long as we can and hopefully it will be up there with the Christmas meeting."