Brad Rawiller proved the missing ingredient to My Bentley when the top jockey teamed with the Spring Racing Carnival’s Country Cup bridesmaid to win Sunday’s $130,000 Sportsbet.com.au Ballarat Cup.
The talented Mick Kent-trained gelding found one better in both the Cranbourne and Bendigo Cups, but finally got his time in the spotlight when Rawiller steered him to an overdue win.
It was the third time this spring that the Caulfield Cup-winning jockey snared a Country Cup for Kent, having earlier won at Moe and Kyneton aboard Red Buttons, and the heavyweight hoop was thrilled to do so after working hard to get down to My Bentley’s 54kg.
“It gives me great pleasure, obviously I rode 54(kg) in the Melbourne Cup but that was planned for a month, but this was an aftersight and it was virtually only four days ago when I decided, ‘I’m going to do it’,” Rawiller said.
“And it’s great to do it for Mick Kent because he’s been a great supporter and given me great rides in the past and I can only hope it continues in the future.”
Rawiller didn’t do his chances any harm with a gem of a ride in the 2200-metre event that was the final feature of the 2010 Spring Racing Carnival.
He lobbed in an economical spot on the fence from gate five and while he got shuffled back to midfield when there was some chopping and changing up front in the first 1000m, he had plenty left for the straight.
Rawiller got a lovely run through the field rounding the home bend before working his way into the clear at the 250m. Once the split came the six-year-old son of I Conquer quickly put more than a length on his rivals, a margin he maintained to the line.
The $5.50 chance finished 1.3 lengths clear of Kidnapped ($8.50), denying Peter Snowden’s Dubai-bound Group 1 winner a fairytale goodbye, with Bairnsdale Cup winner Allanthus ($26) sticking on well for third, just a half-head away.
Red Colossus, the $4.60 favourite, didn’t come in the straight after travelling midfield but pulled up lame, while the heavily-backed The Hombre ($5) overraced early and dropped out over the final 200m to finish 11th.
Rawiller entered the race confident and he said the run he had only enhanced his belief the race would be his.
“I was really confident so long as I could get that bit of luck at the right time and thankfully we were able to make it and it was a strong win,” he said.
Kent was thrilled to see My Bentley overcame suspensory problems that have plagued him since his previous win at Sandown in January and finally crack it for a Country Cup, indicating that he would have a brief let-up before being set for Cups in Tasmania and Adelaide.
“He’s been moving up (into races) but when the jockey’s dropped him, he just hasn’t been letting go, but we think we’ve worked out why and he did (let go) today,” Kent said.
“We’ll just give him a couple of easy weeks now and get him ready for Tassie and Adelaide.”
Full results from Sunday’s Ballarat Cup card are available here.