AGs White Socks tightened New Zealand's stronghold on the $110,000 PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup Saturday night.
He gave the Kiwis a fifth straight victory in the group 1 event.
And if that was not enough, New Zealanders made up the trifecta, with favourite Self Assured and Chase Auckland filling second and third.
There was a difference this time though, with the honours going to the training partnership of Greg and Gina Hope.
The All Stars Stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen was chasing a fifth consecutive win in the Cup, but had to settle with filling the minor placings.
Leading reinsman Greg Sugars did provide a Ballarat district flavour to win.
Sugars, who finished second on Sushi Sushi in the Cup in 2012 and 2013, and his wife Jess Tubbs prepare a growing team at Myrniong.
Sugars said it was a big thrill.
"I've come close a couple of times with one of my all time favourites Sushi Sushi, so to get this one over the line is super," he said.
Sugars found the lead with AGs White Socks ($6.80) from gate three. and dictated terms to find enough to stave off a late surge by Self Assured (2.30) by 1.3m, with Chase Auckland ($5) also making ground late.
It was Sugars' first drive on the six-year-old.
"He's such an easy going free-roller. He was just cruising, I was very confident a long way out."
Greg Hope said they had always thought AGs White Socks was up with the very best.
He said it was good to prove it on the big stage.
"We went in like an underdog really. People don't think he's that good, but we know from training him, we've always realised that he's pretty special. Hopefully he will go on with it now."
HOW THEY FINISHED
6.80 AGs WHITE SOCKS (Greg Sugars)
2.30 fav SELF ASSURED (Mark Purdon)
5.00 CHASE AUCKLAND (Natalie Rasmussen)
37.40 Our Uncle Sam
8.40 Code Bailey
20.40 Tam Major
124.00 Rackemup Tigerpie
31.30 Demon Delight
90.40 Somewhere Secret
22.60 My Field Marshal
9.20 Phoenix Prince
Margins: 1.3m x half head
Mile rate: 1:56.1
MEANWHILE, Ballarat Pacing Cup winning trainer Greg Hope has paid tribute to New Zealand champion driver Ricky May.
A NZ harness racing hall of fame member, May was forced to miss the drive in Saturday night's group 1 event after almost dying in a mid-race incident earlier this month in which he collapsed.
He was in the sulky on AGs White Socks at the time and had to be revived on the track.
May, who has driven AGs White Socks in most of his career starts, has vowed to returning to the sulky.
"Ricky will be on next season," Hope said.
"He's going to be as good as gold, he's going to be a brand new man."
In the meantime, Myrniong-based Greg Sugars is likely to retain the drive on AGs White Socks for the AG Hunter Cup at Melton on Saturday, February 1.
May missed the Inter Dominion series drive on the six-year-old late last year when Barry Purdon took over the training of AGs White Socks from Greg and Gina Hope.