Sydney premiership winning jockey Nash Rawiller is the latest hoop to confirm he will be heading to Darwin for the $175,000 Darwin Cup.
Rawiller will join fellow metropolitan jockeys Kerrin McEvoy and Steven Arnold as confirmed riders in the Cup.
Rawiller will be aboard the vastly improved Blackbriar who has turned his career around since transferring to Melinda Boothby’s Darwin stables.
Blackbriar has won four races since moving to Darwin in February. That’s not a bad effort for a horse that had only won four races in the previous three years.
The five year old recently finished third in the Alice Springs Cup, which Rawiller said was excellent form heading into a race like the Darwin Cup.
“The Alice Springs Cup is like the Caulfield Cup for the Melbourne Cup, it’s the best guide to the Darwin Cup,” Rawiller said.
“If you go well in the Alice you have a little freshen up and come back for the Darwin Cup.”
Rawiller also said that he was not concerned by the fact that most of Blackbriar’s best form had come over the sprint distances, saying that he believed the horse had matured and would be suited by the step up to 2000m.
“I’ve watched replays of his races in Melbourne when he was running over 1900m and he’s shown enough to be competitive. I think he’s a nice ride.” Rawiller said.
Rawiller also commented on the affection he has for the Darwin Cup carnival, saying he makes an effort to head north every year.
“The cup is a race I really want to win,” he said.
“I’ve been heading up there almost every year for the last six or seven years but have been limited in the rides I could take because of the weights.”
Rawiller will ride at 55kg in the Darwin Cup, which is right on his weight limit.
Two time Darwin Cup runner up Hawks Bay received a kilo penalty for the race and will now be forced to carry 62kg.
Final Field For Darwin Cup 2011
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||X804411351||HAWKS BAY||Neil Dyer||Steven Arnold||0||62kg||106|
|2||8749146113||PALMYRA BOY||Neil Dyer||Ms Jan Cameron||0||57.5kg||93|
|3||X11123X318||BLACKBRIAR||Melinda Boothby||Nash Rawiller||0||55kg||88|
|4||76X9519197||NARATEL||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||0||53.5kg||85|
|5||8743515521||SPAKATAK||Kevin Lamprecht||Carl Spry||0||53.5kg||85|
|6||0X32175511||THE RUFFIAN||Sheila Arnold||Kerrin McEvoy||0||53.5kg||85|
|7||25X9000815||CLUB LIQUID||Dick Leech||Michael McDuff||0||53kg||84|
|8||0080X15220||MONTEGO BAY||Paula Trenwith||Scott Hillebrand||0||53kg||84|
|9||8545212X64||AGARKAR||Michael Hickmott||Ms Libby Hopwood (a)||0||53kg||82|
|10||12111X6516||GENERAL MAZERATTI||Jason Manning||Ms Vanessa Arnott||0||53kg||80|
|11||52X0325X33||ROBDON FLYER||Ken Rogerson||–||0||53kg||76|
|12||687166X459||VERY FAST||Julien Welsh||–||0||53kg||74|
|13e||132345X532||BOLTON (NZ)||Stephen Brown||Paul Denton||0||53kg||73|