Wagga trainer Gary Colvin and jockey Nick Heywood teamed up for a popular, and thrilling, hometown victory at Murrumbidgee Turf Club on Saturday as Another One screamed home to win the SDRA Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) in a photo.
In front of a big crowd on a spectacular day, the talented three-year-old showed what he was made of, relying on heart and determination to overcome Albury outsiders Bautista ($61) and Takissacod ($81) in a grandstand finish.
Another One defied a serious betting drift (from opening a $2.80 favourite, to start at $4.80), and a difficult run, posted three-wide, to just get home in the $150,000 feature.
Another One and the Donna Scott-trained Bautista earn a trip to Royal Randwick on April 3, for the $500,000 Newhaven Park Country Championships Final.
"I thought he was strong, for 1400m, he was very strong," Colvin said.
"He got back a bit and when you see a horse to do that, you know you have to have a chance (in the final).
"He couldn't find a position and he had to come three-wide. It was a good run and he finished off strong.
"I've always thought he's a mile horse but to win a race like this, a strong 1400, I think you've got to be a mile horse. From 300 out, I thought we had a chance and it worked out alright."
Jerilderie mare Lady Brook ($3.90 favourite) took charge from the turn but was overcome in the final stages. At first, it was by Takissacod (Norm Loy) who looked the winner until the final strides.
Only three lengths covered the first 10 home, including Scott Spackman's Tocatchacod ($51, fifth) and Chris Heywood's well-backed Blitzar ($4.80, ninth after getting well back.
It was a breakthrough for Colvin who'd previously run second and third with Forever Newyork in the SDRA heat.
But it was vindication too, after he and the owners had agreed to ignore lucrative offers for Another One and enjoy the ride together.
"They come in October (after a win at Wagga), then went off the boil a bit after his sixth in Sydney. But then when he won again (at Randwick in December) they come calling then," Colvin said, between hugs and congratulations from elated owners.
"But we decided we're in this to have a bit of fun with this horse. They're great owners, a lot of us are from Tullibigeal so it's great to get it together."
Another One now has four wins in seven starts, and more than doubled his prizemoney to $145,000.
Colvin praised the work ethic and commitment of Heywood who has been riding trackwork, and put in a big effort to get down to almost 56kg for the ride.
"It's been a big commitment and it's good to have a jockey that experienced riding work for you, they can tell you how it's going," he said.
It was a huge day for the hoop, who's only a month back from injury.
"It's always been a goal to win one. I've been close but this year I knew I was on one with a good chance," Heywood said.
"I rode him early (in his career) and I rode a bit of work there when I was suspended so I've got a good knowledge of the horse and that helps in races like that.
"I'm just glad that he picked up when I needed him to."
Heywood said his break following a bad fall at Albury in November helped him freshen up and get set for a big new year.
"I've been working hard since I come back. I made sure that rather than making it hard for myself, I make it easier. And all those days, the days when you didn't really want to do the hard work, it's paying off now," he said.
Colvin is confident there's plenty of improvement yet in Another One and Heywood won't disagree.
"He's a little bit immature. He's a couple of preps away. But in his work, he's very cool and collected. But it was a big win today. It wasn't pretty but he showed he's tough enough to get the job done," he said.