The Chris Waller-trained Brimham Rocks (GB) secured qualification for next month's Caulfield Cup by winning Saturday's $160,000 Group 3 East Malvern Bendigo Bank MRC Foundation Cup (2000m).
Guided to victory by Michael Walker, Brimham Rocks settled midfield before powering past early leader Sikandarabad with 200 metres remaining to win by 1.25 lengths.
Stablemate So You Win settled three back on the fence and didn't go around another horse in finishing second, with Sikandarabad weakening into third, three lengths behind Brimham Rocks.
The victory can hardly be described as undeserved for Brimham Rocks, who was placed at his first eight Australian starts including seconds in last year's G1 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m), G2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) and G3 Lexus Stakes (2500m).
His form this year has been the opposite, unplaced at all seven starts before winning the MRC Foundation Cup, also known as the Naturalism Stakes.
Brimham Rocks joins Self Sense and Homesman as earning ballot exemption for the $5 million Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19 following Saturday's victory.
Homesman was described as a 'non-runner' for the Caulfield Cup by owner Lloyd Williams on Thursday while Self Sense, who was scratched from the Naturalism, is set to run in next Saturday's R.M. Ansett Classic (2400m) at Mornington.
Brimham Rocks (GB) and Michael Walker, picture Quentinjlang.com