Trainer Mick Kent and jockey Brad Rawiller combined to win consecutive Ballarat Cups with backmarker Domesky today.
The two men, who won the 2010 edition with My Bentley, planned and executed a win based on reverse psychology.
It was commonly thought Ballarat was favouring leaders during the day and if true Domesky had little hope.
The four-year-old only has one racing pattern, to relax and finish with a burst.
Kent hoped others would head to the front and therefore set a quick speed giving the swoopers the last shot and so it was.
Stole, Niptious, Apprehend and Paddy O’Reilly all used early speed to get into good forward position.
The Mike Moroney trained Tinseltown was withdrawn from the race after 300m when rider Michael Walker falsely believed the horse had broken down.
He interfered with Illustrious Blue and Boom N Zoom causing them to lose momentum and at least two lengths.
Paddy O’Reilly, the heavily backed favourite, was caught wide for the first 800m as Craig Robertson on Niptious set a good speed.
Top weight Rothera was given the run of the race by Luke Nolen, fifth on the fence.
Domesky settled on the fence in the final six back with Ulundi and Sean Baile Mor.
The first move was made by Chris Symons aboard Ulundi, moving three wide to get on the back of bolter Noble Destiny at the 800m.
Symons had to go wider when that horse had enough before the turn.
At the 500m Apprehend, Paddy O’Reilly and Niptious shared the lead but all were under pressure, such was the pace of the race.
Nolen moved Rothera off the fence to challenge with Ulundi but the latter’s long run started to tell at the 300m.
Rothera got away but the riders with patience, Rawiller on Domesky and Jake Noonan on Sean Baile Mor were obvious threats.
Domesky had entered the straight behind Sean Baile Mor but was too good for Rothera and Sean Baile Mor.
Under 59kg Rothera was gallant.
No horse in the race’s history had carried that impost to victory and so it remains.
While Domesky’s wins have been spaced, he has always had a touch of class having won the Group 2 Alister Clark at Moonee Valley in March.
“He didn’t have much early in his prep and he may have been out of his depth in the Caulfield Cup,” Kent said.
“We like to space his runs a bit more than we did, we ran him three times pretty quickly.
“We then gave him more time and he ran better at Flemington and obviously ran even better today.
“He is a backmarker who needs heat up front and often these type of horses don’t win a lot of races.
“Moonee Valley has always suited him because they get going early.
“I said to Brad, let’s hope everyone sees the track is playing up front and there might be a bit of pressure – and there was.
“He will be a better horse next year, he will have a break now and come back for better races like the Warrnambool Cup.
“He likes a touch of give in the ground and heat up front and there you go.”
Rawiller was appreciative of the win.
“Mick has been a great supporter of mine and there is nothing like to win a good country cup like the Ballarat Cup,” he said.
|1||7||DOMESKY||Michael Kent||Brad Rawiller||6||55kg||$6.50|
|2||1||ROTHERA||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||0.75L||8||59kg||$7.50|
|3||13||SEAN BAILE MOR||Todd Balfour||Jake Noonan (a)||0.95L||14||53.5kg||$21|
|4||9||STOLE (NZ)||Brian Jenkins||Ben Melham||2.2L||13||53.5kg (cd 54kg)||$8.50|
|5||16||NOBLE DESTINY||Todd Balfour||Thomas Sadler (a)||2.95L||5||53.5kg||$201|
|6||12||MUSICAL HIT||Ken Keys||Dwayne Dunn||3.95L||12||53.5kg||$14|
|7||15||ULUNDI||Pat Carey||Chris Symons||4.15L||4||53.5kg||$6.50|
|8||6||RED BUTTONS||Michael Kent||Dean Yendall||4.35L||3||55.5kg||$17|
|9||11||APPREHEND||Tony Vasil||Jordan Mallyon (a)||5.6L||15||53.5kg||$81|
|10||8||FOXHAM||Tony McEvoy||Ms Michelle Payne||5.9L||1||53.5kg||$15|
|11||5||BOOM ’N’ ZOOM||Ken Keys||Lincoln Coffey||6.4L||11||56kg||$16|
|12||10||CHARTREUX||David Hayes||Stephen Baster||7.65L||7||53.5kg||$41|
|13||14||NIPTIOUS||Danny Curran||Craig Robertson||11.9L||9||53.5kg (cd 54kg)||$101|
|14||2||ILLUSTRIOUS BLUE (GB)||Luke Oliver||Jamie Mott||15.4L||2||58kg||$61|
|15||4||PADDY O’REILLY (NZ)||Robert Smerdon||Craig Newitt||22.4L||16||56.5kg||$5F|
|FF||3||TINSELTOWN (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Michael Walker||10||58kg||$17|
|17||DORSODURO||Kelvin Bourke||Jacob Rule (a)||0|