Top Sydney jockey Nash Rawilleris set to return to race riding next week after being on the sideline with a broken ankle since mid December.
Rawiller suffered the nasty injury after John O’Shea’s unraced youngster, Recharging To Win jammed his right ankle up against the starting gates as the field was preparing for a heat of the two year old trials at Rosehill on December 18.
Rawiller, who is the number one jockey for the powerful Gai Waterhouse stable is back riding trackwork and has taken the ride on the three year old Almighty Charge at Wyong on February 20.
This will test Rawiller’s ankle before making his mark on the Sydney Autumn Carnival with the Waterhouse trained Group 1 winner Laser Hawk his mount in the Group 2 $250,000 Hako Australia Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill the following Saturday.
“I’m going to take a ride for Gai on a horse called Almighty Charge at Wyong on the Wednesday before the Apollo Stakes meeting,” Rawiller said.
Rawiller has stepped up his training program and as well as increasing his trackwork presence, has handled the increased road work and fitness training.
“I’m going really well. I rode one in work last Thursday, another six on Saturday and a few this morning,” Rawiller said.
“I’ve been building up slowly, going for five and 10 ’k’ walks and now I’m doing the Coogee steps a few times and that’s pretty tough, let me tell you.”
Rawiller will be looking to climb back up the Sydney jockey’s premiership after slipping down to seventh spot while he was on the sidelines while Hugh Bowman on thirty-nine and a half wins maintains a slender lead over Tommy Berry on thirty-seven.
Berry is riding in career best form but can owe some of his recent success to the absence of Rawiller which promoted him to the number one rider for Tulloch Lodge.
Rawiller was sharing the premiership lead when he broke his ankle but now that he is ready to resume riding, last season’s leading Group 1 rider is hoping to repeat last Autumn’s success when he and Waterhouse took all before them.
Rawiller teamed up with Waterhouse during the Sydney Autumn Carnival winning seven Group 1s, courtesy of two year old Triple Crown winner Pierro, Laser Hawk and super mare More Joyous but the powerful Sydney combination came away from the Melbourne Spring Carnival without a Group 1 victory.
While he has been on the sideline Rawiller has kept a close eye on the progress of his Group 1 prospects Pierro and More Joyous and has been happy with what he has seen.
“I couldn’t be happier with them,” Rawiller said.
“They are both doing really well around the stables and look terrific.
“They’ve come through their trials in good order and it should be really good times ahead.”