Rawiller on Tom's Choice

Premiership leader Nash Rawiller will have his first ride on talented two-year-old Tom’s Choice at Rosehill on Saturday after it was originally thought he’d be riding Crossbow in the same race.

Rawiller was down to ride the Gai Waterhouse-trained Crossbow in the Upstream `Print Less’ Handicap (1100m), but when the gelding was given 55kg when weights were released on Tuesday the jockey was forced to forgo the mount.

Rawiller had told his manager he could only ride at 55.5kg this weekend.

Tom’s Choice has 56.5kg and returns to the races for the first time since scoring an impressive win at Randwick’s Kensington track in March.

Waller has a good opinion of the son of Redoute’s Choice but believes the colt is still a work in progress and the best might still not be seen of him until the autumn.

The Rosehill trainer has given Tom’s Choice two barrier trials to ready him for Saturday’s return.

“He’s come back alright,” Waller said.

“He’s still probably one step away from the top Slipper horses, that’s why we’ve brought him in a little early to try and give him some confidence.”

Tom’s Choice was third to So Detached on debut at Canterbury in March before impressing at his only other start when scoring by a long neck over 1300m on the Kensington track two weeks later.

“He did a good job that day,” Waller said.

“He only switched on late and burst through to win.”

After that victory the Rosehill trainer was considering whether to continue on and give Tom’s Choice a crack in stakes company during the autumn or winter.

The Listed Baillieu Handicap (1400m) on Golden Slipper day was an option and so was a trip to Brisbane for races such as the TJ Smith Stakes, subsequently won by stablemate Pressday.

“He needed a good break because he was still immature,” Waller said.

“That (a Brisbane campaign) was thought of but he just needed a bit more time.”

Saturday’s race for two-year-old colts and geldings kicks off the Rosehill meeting and shapes as an intriguing battle with last-start winner Agister also engaged.

The Allan Denham-trained Agister resumed with a long neck win in a 1200m 2YO Open Handicap at Rosehill on July 3 and Corey Brown, eight wins behind Rawiller in the premiership, retains the ride.

Crossbow, meanwhile, is technically “unraced” but the gelding was produced at Gosford on Takeover Target Stakes day.

He turned in a super performance with Rawiller in the saddle to win a race that was later declared “void” due to an electrical malfunction that affected the start.