It was a monster TAB Inter Dominion morning at Federation Square for the Breakfast of Champions and Barrier Draw, when HRV HERO paraded the Yarra and the all-important starting gates were drawn.
Both the pacing and trotting Grand Finals sparked a raft of analysis after the race favourites received a mixed bag, including the Kiwi trotter Speeding Spur drawing inside Tornado Valley on the front line.
The pacing Grand Final was blown even further open after co-favourite Cruz Bromac drew a back row gate, with stablemate Spankem carrying punters' favour with his gate 5 draw that saw him shorten to $2.90.
He drew outside Galactic Star (gate 1) and Im Pats Delight (gate 3), while Tiger Tara (gate 7) also maintained single-figure odds post-draw.
The ins and outs were raked over amid live coverage by Sky Racing and RSN 927, who's rotating panel and series of interviews dove deep into the ramifications.
You can relive the coverage below:
Amid the racing was a fantastic exhibition by HRV HERO, the life-after-racing program which presented Smudge Bromac and Waikare Aristocrat, who reinsman John Caldow and Chris Alford steered up and down the Yarra River to the delight of morning commuters.
The morning's offical proceedings also included the Blessing of the Silks.
It was a great celebration ahead of Saturday night's Grand Finals at Tabcorp Park Melton. Tickets and details at www.id18.com.au