Related: How Cup day unfolded
For the second year in a row, Bendigo mare Savaju ran a great race on Bendigo Cup day.
For the second year in a row, an up-and-coming Darren Weir-trained galloper got the better of her.
Last year it was Night’s Watch who won the final event on Cup day and then went on to progress to Group races.
On Wednesday it was the in-form Superhard that took the honours in the Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series Heat (1400m).
Akkadian ran home hard to finish second, with Savaju a gallant third for Bendigo trainer Shaun Dwyer.
Superhard and Akkadian earn automatic entry into the final of the series on Oaks Day at Flemington, while Savaju remains a chance to force her way into the field.
It was the second-straight third placing on her home home track for Savaju and she looks to be closing in on another victory.
Superhard’s win was the third leg of a winning treble for Weir.
The master trainer won races earlier in the day with No Emotion and Dennis.
Outsider of the field No Emotion gave the bookies something to cheer about when he won the Rankins Catering Benchmark 64 (1400m).
The five-horse race was expected to be won by the Weir-trained Mr Genoa, but it was stablemate No Emotion that spoiled the party.
Ridden by Ben Allen, No Emotion travelled last in the small field.
Despite the slow tempo set by Still Invincible, No Emotion made a wide run around the home turn and outsprinted his rivals in the straight to win by a length.
Still Invincible was second, with Dubai Tycoon third.
Mr Genoa ran last in the five-horse field.
A great ride by Dean Yendall guided Dennis to a strong win in the BRB Electrical Grand Handicap (1100m).
Dennis travelled just behind the speed set by short-priced favourite Bolek.
Yendall eased the four-year-old off the fence at the 300m mark and the gelding ran down Bolek.
Wrecking Ball made a late charge to get into second place, with Bolek third.
Bendigo galloper Kharnmosh showed early speed but dropped out to finish last.
The David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernbig team prepared a winning double.
Jawwaal defied a betting drfit to break its maiden status in fine style in the Bendigo RSL Musem Maiden Plate (1400m).
The three-year-old was taken straight to the front by UK-based jockey Jim Crowley and they dictated terms.
Jawwaal kicked clear at the 300m mark and found the line well to win by two lengths. The Danny O'Brien-trained Scipio was second, with Suburbia an eye-catching third.
The second leg of the Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig double came in race nine when Eshtiraak won a slogging battle in the Bendigo Locksmiths Handicap (1600m).
One of the most impressive winners of the day was the Tony McEvoy-trained Winning Partner who rounded up his rivals at the 200m mark and hit the line well to win the No Fuss Event Hire Maiden Plate (1100m).
Winning Partner ($2.30) won by two-and-a-half lengths from Celeritate Regem, with Fergus Magergus third.