Big weekend for Rawiller

Nash Rawiller will continue his gripping premiership battle with Corey Brown at Randwick on Saturday before jetting out to chase Derby success in Singapore.
Rawiller will ride Samurai Phoenix in Sunday’s Group One Singapore Derby (2000m) at Kranji, while Glen Boss will also make the trip to partner Phantom Knight in the $S1,150,000 feature for four-year-olds.

The current premiership leader in Sydney, Rawiller, who was also the country’s leading Group One rider this season with nine majors, said the offer to ride in the Singapore Derby was an opportunity not to be missed.

“Any opportunity like that you try and make the most of,” Rawiller said.

“When I got the phone call to go over there and ride, I was rapt to go.”

The 35-year-old went to Singapore three weeks ago and rode the John O’Hara-trained Samurai Phoenix to sixth placing in the Group One Patron’s Bowl (1600m).

He said the experience was an eye-opener and expected to be even better for that experience on Sunday.

“I’d been over there once before and rode in the Singapore Cup, and won a race that day, but I think I’ll be better for the trip over there last time,” he said.

Samurai Phoenix came up with barrier three for the Derby in a field of 16, which Rawiller said would suit the gelding who was beaten 3-1/2 lengths in the Patron’s Bowl.

“I went over and rode him last start and it was in a slowly-run race,” Rawiller said.

“It made it very difficult for him to come home from where he did, but he hit the line nicely.

“In the wash-up after the race, although all that went wrong and the race wasn’t run to suit him, we felt that if he could draw a nice gate on Sunday he’d be a great chance and he’s come up with barrier three which is ideal.”

Before heading to Singapore though, Rawiller is booked for six mounts at Randwick.

A winning double on Wednesday edged him four wins clear of Brown in the Sydney premiership with eight metropolitan meetings remaining this season.

The tussle between the two in-form hoops for premiership honours has been the highlight of winter racing in Sydney in recent weeks.

Rawiller’s rides at Randwick are Demanding Miss, Fusakeo, Daytona Beach, Shaketheground, First Look and Ego, while Brown has a full book of eight rides.

“I’ve got a nice book of rides, there’s no real standouts but I’ll just wait and see how my luck goes on the day,” Rawiller said.

“We had a fair bit of rain there last (Thursday) night which is a concern. Hopefully it plays in my favour.”