Two horseman who began their racing careers on the other side of the world have become Ballarat Turf Club immortals by guiding Australian-bred Kiwia to an historic second Ballarat Cup victory.
Kiwia ($16) delivered English-born trainer Archie Alexander and Irish-born jockey John Allen unforgettable hometown moments by going back-to-back in the $500,000 Sportsbet Ballarat Cup, 2000m, on Saturday.
The six-year-old is the winner of the listed event since Warri Symbol in 1982-83.
While this is Alexander's first Ballarat Cup, Allen has combined with Kiwia in each of the successes.
He rode Kiwia to victory last year when the stayer was trained by Darren Weir.
Alexander took over the traininjg of Kiwi when Weir was disqualified for four years at the end of early this year.
While Alexander has trained five group race winners, the Ballarat Cup is right at the top of his achievements since moving to Ballarat in 2014 to set up his own stable after serving his "apprenticeship" under leading trainers in England, France, the United States and Australia.
Kiwia held out a charging Patrick Payne-trained Double You Tee ($9.50) in a tight finish, with Another Dollar ($20) third. Favourite Dr Drill ($3.20) finished fifth.
"It's a special win as it's a hometown cup," Alexander said as he struggles to hold back the tears.
"And it's with a horse that we came here with not overly confident about.
"He hadn't won in 12 months and he's had his issues.
"I don't know why he peaked on this day, but for whatever reason he was flying," Alexander said.
It was only on Cup eve that Allen was confirmed as the rider for Kiwia.
He had been set to ride early favourite and second emergency Harbour Views - like Kiwia raced by high-profile owner Gerry Ryan - but he scratched on Friday morning, freeing up Allen to get on Kiwia.
Allen thanked Alexander for holding off booking a jockey for Kiwia as they waited to see if Harbour Views gained a start.