Heading into the race there were four to five strong chances, but it was Hard 'n' Tough who saluted to take home the Stawell Gold Cup narrowly ahead of a hometown favourite.
The Symon Wilde-trained six-year-old Hard 'N' Tough, rode home by jockey Dean Yendall came away with the victory in Sunday's $70,000 Stuart McGregor Stawell Gold Cup.
Hard and Tough was battled all the way to the line by Stawell-trained Barry the Baptist as the pair duelled across the final 400 metres.
The home-town favourite and 2019 Stawell Gold Cup winner Barry the Baptist was on the wider line heading around the final turn and poked its head in front, but down the inside Hard 'n' Tough dug deep to claim the win by just a length and a half.
The Colac Cup winner also gave Yendall his fourth win in the race and was his first win in the race since his ride on Killarney Kid in 2016.
Post-race both Yendall and Wilde Racing Assistant Trainer Liam Hoy were glowing in their praise for Hard 'n' Tough.
"It is a huge thrill, she is a stable favourite and the team were all roaring her home up the home straight," Hoy said.
"Symon and Bill have had a lot of luck, they love supporting these Wimmera tracks.
"She lives right up to her name, Hard 'N' Tough.
"I actually thought on the corner she should be in the paddock.
"But once she straightened up and Dean gave her a hit down the backside her name shone through."
Yendall said it was great that their ride went to plan.
"It was a marvellous effort, and training effort by everyone with the Wilde training group," he said.
"We got an easy time out there and we had Barry running second and keeping me honest and they put pressure on me coming into the home straight.
"And I hadn't really asked for a huge effort, but when I did she dug deep."
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