Ben Melham is sprint king of the saddle for the Victorian Spring Carnival.
The former Ballarat-based jockey produced one of the most memorable moments of his career by steering Malaguerra ($9.50) to victory in the group 1 $1m Darley Classic, 1200m, at Flemington on Saturday.
It gave Melham his second group 1 $1m sprint success of the spring, having guided Rebel Dane home in the Manikato Stakes, 1200m, at Moonee Valley on October 21.
"I was very confident coming to this race. As confident as you can be in a group 1," Melham said.
He said he had secured the right run with cover and Malaguerra had done the rest, holding off Spieth, with Fell Swoop third.
This is not the first time Melham has taken centre stage in the feature race on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
He will always be remembered as the jockey who rode immortal mare Black Caviar to her first group 1 victory in 2010 when the event was known as the Patinack Farm Classic.
Trainer Peter Moody engaged him for the one-off ride to fill in for the suspended Luke Nolen, and was one of only three jockeys to ride Black Caviar in her unbeaten career of 25 starts.
For Melham, who began a prolific-winning apprenticeship with Ballarat trainer Darren Weir after completing his schooling at St Patrick’s College, the Darley Classic continues a great association with Malaguerra.
He has ridden the five-year-old 10 times for seven wins.
Six of those wins were while the son of Magnus was trained by Lee and Anthony Freedman.
The Darley was only his second start for Moe trainer Peter Gelagotis, following a first-up second in the group 2 Schillaci Stakes, 1100m, at Caulfield on October 8.