It was Mr Brightside who emerged triumphant in a thrilling fifth edition of The Sharp EIT All-Star Mile in front of a big crowd at The Valley.
On an unseasonably warm autumn’s day, the Ben and JD Hayes-trained gelding claimed the $5 million race by half-a-length over veteran Godolphin galloper Cascadian, with Tasmania's little champion The Inevitable running a gutsy third.
Favourite Alligator Blood issued a challenge early in the straight but weakened over the final 100m to run fourth.
It was Mr Brightside though who was toast of The Valley, as The Killers’ smash hit provided the backdrop to the celebrations of his connections, backers, and his Owner Ambassador John Mahedy, who collected an incredible $250,000 from the five-year-old’s victory.
"It's a dream come true, it really is," Mr Mahedy said.
For Ben and JD Hayes, the win continued a hot period for the training partnership.
Mr Brightside was the horse that got things going for the brothers when they began their training journey together, and the gelding has now taken his record to 10 wins from 22 starts.
"For the team, Ben and I and everyone, it's just a huge thrill," JD Hayes said.
"This horse is just a beautiful animal. He just wears his heart on his sleeve, and he just tries so hard."
"It was a 10/10 ride by Luke Currie and condolences go out to Craig (Williams), he put so much work into him."
On a terrific card, The Sharp EIT All-Star Mile was accompanied by three black-type races.
Bank Maur for Richard Laming took out the Group 2 DCE Alister Clark Stakes, one of three winning rides for Craig Newitt on the day.
Newitt also claimed the Group 3 PKF Typhoon Tracy Stakes aboard the James Cummings-trained Parisal, while Harry Coffey combined Ciaron Maher and David Eustace to claim the Listed Entry Education Abell Stakes on She’s All Class.
It was a pulsating atmosphere on course and the entertainment continued post the racing.
ARIA award-winners Sheppard hit the stage on The Valley track, playing a one-hour concert which had the crowd singing and dancing.
It provided the perfect conclusion to Sharp EIT All-Star Mile Day.
Racing returns to The Valley on Friday 24 March for the Night Racing Season Finale featuring The 3 Point Motors Group 1 William Reid Stakes.