Cincinnati Kid NZ and Mark Peace win the 2010 PETstock Ballarat Cup Photo by Stuart McCormick
Perennial big race player Cincinnati Kid finally got his moment.
Over the past three seasons, Cincinnati Kid has been so close yet so far away in many features but tonight was his time to shine after capitalising on a lovely trail behind the leader and outgunned his more fancied rivals to claim the Gr.1 $125,000 Petstock Ballarat Cup at Bray Raceway.
Reigning Inter Dominion champion Mr Feelgood hogged the pre-race limelight after some slashing performances recently after returning from an unsuccessful New Zealand campaign but needed to overcome a tough second row draw.
Cincinnati Kid was hustled hard in the early stages to maintain the position on the back of Mister Zion who easily held the lead from his ace draw for stand in driver Luke McCarthy.
With Mister Zion comfortably holding the lead and dictating terms in front, many of the favoured runners made early three wide moves whilst Cincinnati Kid sat tucked away behind the leader in a slow early tempo for the 2700m event.
The lead time was posted in 83.8 seconds.
The race clearly developed into a sprint home after Mister Zion strolled through the first half in sections of 32 and 30.5 seconds with star New South Wales stayer Karloo Mick occupying the position on the outside of the leader whilst both Mr Feelgood and Cincinnati Kid travelled strongly directly behind the leading pair.
Entering the back straight on the final occasion, the speed sharpened considerably with Kiwi visitor Our Awesome Armbro applying strong pressure three wide.
The third quarter was posted in a brilliant 27.7 seconds and Mister Zion still travelled well with Karloo Mick being worked on by driver Greg Bennett whilst Mr Feelgood commenced his run deep off the track and Cincinnati Kid persisted for an inside run as the pressure reached fever pitch.
With Mister Zion running up the track, Mark Peace urged Cincinnati Kid through along the inside and snatched his maiden Group One victory from Karloo Mick who fought tenaciously with Mr Feelgood running a close-up third.
The last quarter was timed in 27.8 seconds.
The overall time was 3.21.8 with the mile rate calculated to 1.59.8.
A minor protest was lodged on behalf of driver Anthony Butt (Mr Feelgood) against Greg Bennet (Karloo Mick) for alleged interference over the concluding stages.
The protest was upheld.
The victory of Cincinnati Kid was his 22nd in his 98 start career whilst his earnings have soared to $406,000.
Cincinnati Kid is raced by Jade Valley Racing Stables for trainer/driver Mark Peace.