BRAD Rawiller is the Ballarat Cups King.
Rawiller confirmed the title by capturing his third consecutive Ballarat Cup on the Jarrod McLean-trained King Diamond yesterday.
He had previously combined with the Mick Kent duo of My Bentley in 2010 and Domesky last year.
With Kent not having a runner this year, Rawiller picked up the late engagement of King Diamond ($21) in the listed $200,000 sportsbet.com.au Ballarat Cup, 2200m, and proceeded to ride a copybook race.
Having only his second run for the Warrnambool-based McLean, the six-year-old nosed outR the well-backed Pelicano ($7.50) in a bobbing finish, while consistent mare Exceptionally ($5.50) filled third.
Favourite Sertorius ($2.70) raced up on the pace and loomed up on the home turn, but faded to finish seventh.
Rawiller is the first jockey to ride three Ballarat Cup winners since Rod Griffiths and the first in the modern era to achieve the feat three years in a row.
Griffiths won on Dream About It in 1993, Magical Storm in 1995 and Royal Caliph in 1998.
“To win three Ballarat Cups is pretty special,” Rawiller said.
For McLean, it was one of the biggest wins of his career.
He said the surprise element was a big part of the thrill.
McLean said he had not gone to Ballarat expecting to win.
“I thought he’d run well, but didn’t expect to win.”
“It’s a big thrill, it’s a real advertisement for all of the guys who train down on the beach at Warrnambool,” McLean said, also mentioning the likes Aaron Purcell and Matthew Williams.
King Diamond was previously prepared by Mark Kavanagh and Peter Moody, and it was on Moody’s recommendation managing owner Rob Slade sent the gelding to McLean where beach work could take pressure off his joints.
“I backed right off him to get him feeling better,” McLean said.
“These old horses can gallop.
“You’ve just got to get them sound and the beach is the key,” he said.
King Diamond was also the third leg of a treble for Rawiller on the day – his second treble in as many days after doing the same at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
His other Ballarat Cup Day wins came on the Mick Kent-trained Danish Whiskey ($7) in the Sita Australia 0-68 Handicap, 1200m, and Single Warrior ($4) for Warrnambool trainer Aaron Purcell in Tracey BM72 Handicap, 2200m.