Battle scared jockey Nash Rawilleris ready to fight his way back into the tough Sydney racing scene with a low key return to the saddle at Warwick Farm tomorrow.
Rawiller has been on the sideline with a broken ankle for the past two months after a barrier trial incident and has taken two rides for Gai Waterhouse to ease his way into the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
The top jockey will be on his old mate Laser Hawk in the Group 2 $250,000 Schweppes Apollo Stakes (1400m) and two year old Marseille Roulette in the $85,000 Darby Munro Handicap (1200m).
While Rawiller took full advantage of his time off to recharge the batteries, he is very keen to be back in the swing of the hard regime of a top jockey.
“You try and take the positives out of it. I got to spend Christmas and New Year with the family and the school holidays with the kids which was a real bonus,” Rawiller said.
“You work pretty hard at Gai’s, it’s pretty full-on, so a little bit of a freshen-up hasn’t done me any harm.”
Rawiller has worked hard to regain his fitness and get his weight back down to a comfortable level and will ride around the 56kg for a couple of weeks.
“I feel great, the ankle is really good and I can’t wait to get there tomorrow,” Rawiller said.
“I’ve only taken two rides tomorrow just to see how I come through.
“I’ve got a really big week the following week and I can’t see the point in over-doing it now.”
Laser Hawk is also returning from a long lay off, recovering from an operation to remove a bone chip and Rawiller is glad to be able to ride the four year old after forging a close affiliation in the Autumn last year.
After running third to Mosheen in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnpoint Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on March 17, the pair combined to take out the Group 1 $500,000 Flinders Lane Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill two weeks later.
Laser Hawk then started favourite when third to Ethiopia in the Group 1 $1.5m David Jones Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 14 before going for a spell.
Waterhouse has given Laser Hawk two barrier trials for his return to the racetrack and the Rosehill Guineas winner has also recovered from a minor hoof injury sustained last weekend.
“It’s been well documented he had a bit of an issue last weekend, but I gave him his final gallop on Tuesday and he felt back to his best and still improving,” Rawiller said.
“He’s the sort of horse who doesn’t give his all until raceday then you find out what a good horse he is.”
Rawiller’s two year old mount Marseille Roulette has returned from an unsuccessful trip to Melbourne where he finished last of seven behind Kuroshio in the Group 3 $150,000 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (1100m) at Caulfield on February 9.
Rawiller is hoping that the Zizou colt can repeat his first up run when he crossed from a wide alley to lead and win the $250,000 Inglis Classic (1200m) at Rosehill on January 19.
Laser Hawk is a $7.50 chance behind stablemate Glencadam Gold who has been posted the $3.80 favourite for the Apollo Stakes.
The Chris Waller trained trio of Shoot Out ($4.60), Tougher Than Ever ($6.50) and Danleigh ($7) are all in the betting.