Nash Rawiller back and relishing title fight – even if he’s not a main player   Leave a comment

Nash Rawiller back and relishing title fight – even if he’s not a main player

Date
July 24, 2015 – 7:12PM

Adam Pengilly

Back for the title fight: Nash Rawiller is back for the end of the Sydney season.Back for the title fight: Nash Rawiller is back for the end of the Sydney season. Photo: Tertius Pickard

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Half-a-world away and riding in a country where he had always yearned to be, Nash Rawiller couldn’t help feel a tinge of disappointment this time last year.

“Probably one of my only regrets was walking away from that,” Rawiller said as James McDonald clawed into his lead to claim last season’s Sydney jockeys’ title outright on the final day of the term.

“But when the Japan contract came up … it’s something I had strived for for so many years and I felt I couldn’t knock it back. I think I only got beat in the last meeting and I was really wishing I was there.”

This time the three-time champion will be right in the thick of the title race’s dying days, however brief and minor his role might be.

Incredibly, the regular enforcer on Sydney race tracks for the best part of the past decade hasn’t ridden in a single Sydney race this season after finally fulfilling a long-held dream to ride permanently overseas, this time in Hong Kong.

And his absence might just have fuelled one of the most enthralling title chases in years, with old sparring partner Hugh Bowman – who he mowed down in the final month of the season two years ago – clinging to a one-and-a-half win lead from defending champion McDonald and Blake Shinn.

“It’s like a carrot dangled in front of you and if you’re within striking distance, it gives you something to work towards,” Rawiller said. “You can see these three boys have got the eye of the tiger at the moment and riding very well.

“It’s gaining a lot of publicity and watching the boys on Wednesday … they’re really stepping up to the plate. Especially at the time of year when most of them would be looking to have a holiday before the spring starts.”

Rawiller would have been entitled to a lounge on a beach somewhere at this time of year, shortly after his first full term in Hong Kong had ended. But the lure of a brief return to Sydney at the behest of the country’s premier trainer Chris Waller, which starts at Canterbury on Saturday, has been too hard to ignore.

Having initially scrapped with stewards and then scavenged for rides in the notoriously fickle climes of Sha Tin and Happy Valley, the rangy Rawiller just wants to keep the momentum rolling before the start of his next 12-month contract in Hong Kong.

“It hasn’t happened overnight for me – I’ve had to start from the bottom and work my way up,” Rawiller said. “I’ve had good support from some of the top trainers, but it’s taken a long time to get going.

“You manage yourself [in Hong Kong], which is a new experience and I haven’t had to do that since I was 18. Over there you have to be pretty quick to find a position and everything seems to happen a lot quicker. I feel like I rounded the final six months off really well and I’m looking to build on that and see where it can take me.”

While Waller’s arsenal has been spread between Sydney’s premiership-chasing trio in the past fortnight, he will hope Rawiller can hit the ground running with his three mounts on a rare Saturday in Sydney’s inner-west.

Last-start winner Aurora Glow (race two) will be the first of Rawiller’s rides – and perhaps his best – before he links with stablemates Eigelstein (third) and Kristy Lee (sixth).

“The two-year-old [Aurora Glow] really hit the line strongly and the way it ran on from the back at Canterbury you would imagine she would still be on the improve,” Rawiller said.

“With Chris’ they certainly don’t go backwards in a preparation and they keep gaining momentum. She looks like a promising horse. And the other two … Eigelstein I’ve had a couple of wins so I know him pretty well and Kristy Lee is always competitive in a race like this.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/horseracing/nash-rawiller-back-and-relishing-title-fight–even-if-hes-not-a-main-player-20150724-gijhf7.html#ixzz3gnmUMIil

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Posted July 25, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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