Legal Zou was rewarded for effort when he saluted at Benalla on Sunday in race four’s 0-58 handicap (1406m).
The six-year-old gelding put in a mighty effort from gate 12 to win by a head after settling wide at the back of the field.
The galloper and hoop Connor Murtagh swooped on the turn though and put in a strong final 200m to just overrun their rivals, saluting at a valuable $34.
Murtagh was pleased with the victory post race.
“He ran an absolute cracker from an outside draw,” Murtagh said.
“We jumped very hard and everybody was wanting to be on the pace and I was lacking the speed to get there early doors so I was happy just to sit and tuck in where I could.
“I got a lovely spot off the fence.”
Murtagh admitted he was a bit nervous when he found himself wide on the turn.
“They actually slowed it down mid-race and I managed to get a lovely breather into him,” he said.
“I was just trying to follow a horse that I thought would take me forward and I ended up getting pretty wide and if I’d had gotten beaten I would’ve blamed it on myself.
“But he’s won on the day and that’s the main thing, he’s come home with a lovely wet sail down the outside and done it pretty easily in the end.”