Two ex-pat New Zealanders with a long association combined with a former Kiwi stayer to snatch the listed $500,000 Sportsbet Ballarat Cup, 2000m, on Saturday.
Irish Flame ($18), trained by Brett Scott at Monrington and ridden by Michael Walker, edged out hometown favourite Affair To Remember ($3.90) by a half head with a bob of the head on the line.
Game Keeper ($20) was another half head away third as the top six finished within a half length of each other.
Affair To Remember looked like delivering a dream victory for trainer Dan O'Sullivan as jockey Mark Zahra wove a path through a wall of horses after being last at the top of the home straight, but she ran out of time.
Scott was concerned midweek when Irish Flame was named first emergency and in danger of not getting a start, but an early scratching put the six-year-old in the race.
Irish Flame was forced to race wide from a wide draw, but showed his fighting powers to take the honours.
Scott first came to Australia as a champion jumps jockey, having formed a great association with legendary NZ trainer John Wheeler.
It was Wheeler who sent irish Flame to Scott earlier this year.
Scott said Irish Flame had improved with every run since arriving in Victoria. He has had seven starts for two wins, two seconds and two thirds.
Walker said Scott had taught him how to ride all those years ago in NZ.
"He was the foreman at the stable that I very first went to. The owners, all the people in Hawera, I need to thank them for the opportunity to stay on a remarkable horse."
"To Scotty and (wife) Kylie and the whole team, they do a tremendous job. Scotty has been a rider himself - a champion rider. I've got no doubt he's going to make a champion trainer, too."