It looked the toughest heat on paper and it was on for young and old as the Victorians fought out a tooth and nail battle to secure the three Inter Dominion spots on offer in heat three at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight.
In the end it was $10 outsider Keayang Cullen who found another gear in the straight to run down favourite Restrepo to score an amazing win.
Another outsider, the 80-1 shot Wartime Sweetheart held out Caribbean Blaster to run third, meaning's stable star, who endured a hard run outside the leader, would have to sweat on an invitation from officials if he was to make the trip to Sydney for the final in two-week's time.
Champion reinsmanmust have been giggling on the home turn, so well was Restrepo travelling.
It had been a race of changes, though, with no prisoners taken as several contenders made mid-race dashes in an effort to put themselves in contention.
After a 58.1 first half of the last mile, Restrepo didn't get much peace in front with a 27.4 split third quarter as the runs began to come.
As they blazed home in 27.5, Keayang Cullen obliterated Smoken Up's track record, knocking .3 of a second off it with a mile rate of 1:53.1.
The first three are on their way to Sydney and all are capable of surprising when they get there.
Harness Racing NSW