Sydney’s leading jockey Nash Rawiller surrendered several top rides at the rich Rosehill meeting on Saturday to stick with his Melbourne Cup hope Fiorente in the Group 2 $300,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.
Rawiller gave up a number of top chances in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m), including the favourite Prince Harada, to maintain his association with the top Gai Waterhouse stayer.
“I could have ridden quite a few of Gais and I could have ridden Prince Harada too,” Rawiller told Racing Network.
“I’ve been in this game for 22 or 23 years and I’ve never had a better chance of riding a Melbourne Cup winner.”
Apart from Prince Harada, Rawiller would have had the pick of Waterhouse’s five Golden Rose starters and a host of other runners on the Rosehill card.
Waterhouse will more than likely head Fiorente to the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26 on his way for another attempt at the Group 1 $6.2m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5.
Fiorente will gain some valuable experience around the tight Moonee Valley circuit on Saturday as well as letting connections know if he is on target for his major Spring Carnival assignments.
“Tomorrow will tell us a lot about the Cox Plate too, whether he’s up to that, but I think he is,” Rawiller said.
“Gai has picked this race out to give him a look around the track as she wants to leave no stone unturned going into the Cox Plate.
“I don’t think it will pose any problem for him but it is always good to have a look at it.”
Even though Fiorente was beaten three and a half lengths when sixth first up to Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 $350,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 31, Rawiller was more than pleased with the run after missing the start badly as well as being held up for a run in the straight.
“He was a bit slow away and I was chasing my tail from then on but to his credit he put himself in the race from the corner and had no real crack at them in the straight,” Rawiller told the Sportsman.
“He went sensationally, he is right on track and I couldn’t be happier.”
Fiorente, who ran second in last year’s Melbourne Cup behind Green Moon with James McDonald in the saddle, is on the third line of betting for this year’s Cup at $12 behind Puissance De Lune at $7 and Sea Moon at $11.
In Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes betting Fiorente at $3.40 is challenging Australian Cup winner Super Cool who is the early $3 favourite.
Happy Trials, who won this race last year, is a $6.50 chance for back to back victories with the Peter Moody trained Lidari the only other runner under double figures at $8.