"He likes a dog fight."
For a horse that loves taking it down to the wire, Hammond Lane certainly took it there for the 2019 Robert Oatley Vineyards Mudgee Cup Showcase (1600 metres).
The Jeff Englebrecht product jumped from the gate to lead for the first 200 metres until Jarrod Austin's (Warwick Farm) Hirokin brought on a challenge that lasted 800 metres only for Hammond Lane to show his true colours in the last 600 metres to get the job done.
"He jumped really positive, we wanted him right on the speed, he did overrace the first 200 but I was able to get him at the back of the second horse that was leading," jockey, Grant Buckley said.
"He dragged me to the front a little bit too early, I was a little bit exposed a long way out from home but to the horse's credit, he was trained to the minute and he got the job done.
He's a really tough horse, he likes a dog fight and that's probably helped him in the end.Grant Buckley
Buckley admits he kept his eyes on the track right until the very end, denying himself the pleasure of an early victory.
"I had my head down towards the end, I just didn't look because I knew it was tight," he said.
"It was all smooth. A real credit to the track here today too, the way it's presented is impressive considering the drought."
Buckley praised the eight-year-old's trainer and says a lot more runners could benefit from his methods.
Jeff is a master of the horse and he probably should get more horses and more opportunity because he's a really good man to the horse.
Hammond Lane came first to Hirokin who took second, and Peter H Bloomfield's (Wyong) Life O'Brien that came in third.