Second up from a four-month spell, Serg Blanco bounded to the lead from his wide front row draw however driver Ryan Duffy was content to surrender the front running to Helluva with 1600 metres to travel.
Following a leisurely pace during the middle stages of the race, Ewa Justice increased the tempo on Helluva with a lap to travel.
Despite a blistering 54.4 last 800 metres, Duffy and Serg Blanco ($5) and made good use of the sprint lane in the home stretch with the pair grabbing Helluva in the shadows of the post to score by a head on the line.
Duffy said Serg Blanco tended to over race in the early stages of the race.
"I was initially going to hold the front but he was tapping the wheels and got a bit angry so I gave him 200 metres to settle but he didn't so I let Ewa go the front because I knew if I could follow a hat he would settle," Duffy said.
"And I know how fast he is so I was quite confident that I could beat
the leader if I took a sit on him," he said.
Duffy said the son of Bettors Delight will benefit from the run-in preparation for the upcoming country cups.
"His first up run was pretty good at Melton where he got home in 55 and change and tonight, he was that bit fitter and now he'll probably head to Yarra Valley Cup next week, so I wasn't too stressed about giving him a gut buster tonight, but he got the job done," he said.
"He's a high-speed horse and has proven that several times at Melton so I knew if it became a furlong dash he would be the fastest horses at the end."