A perfect ride by Nash Rawiller saw Queensland trained Solzhenitsyn score back to back wins in the Group 1 $400,000 David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield today.
Rawiller was able to settle the Robert Heathcote trained Solzhenitsyn fifth on the fence and gave the seven year old a soft run under the 58kgs before getting into the clear at the top of the straight for and uninterrupted run to the line.
Front runner Budriguez was always going to ensure that the Toorak was run at a genuine pace, giving every horse a chance to run home.
Solzhenitsyn repeated the effort of Umrum who won the Toorak Handicap in 1999 and 2000 for Adelaide trainer Leon Macdonald.
Heathcote was quick to praise the ride of Rawiller who showed why he is one of Australia’s leading jockeys.
“Nash Rawiller, what a gem of a ride. He had him in a perfect position,” Heathcote said.
“He’s a man of few words, he just gets the job done. That’s why his is in the top three or four in the Country.”
Heathcote will now head to the Group 2 $220,000 Schweppes Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 26 and will put on hold a tilt at the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) until next year.
“We had paid up initially for the Cox Plate but the owners are very patient. We said let’s get the job done this year, next year we will set him specifically for maybe a Cox Plate,” Heathcote said.
Solzhenitsyn, who was purchased for $10,000 as a weanling took his earnings to over the $1 million mark with today’s win.
Solzhenitsyn was sent out the $6 favourite in a wide betting race and was able to beat the French galloper Trevieres ($12) who ran a mighty race at his first Australian start, while $21 chance Blackie ran the race of his life to finish in third spot.