Top Sydney jockey Nash Rawiller has been booked to partner reigning champ Southern Speed when she defends her title in the 2012 Caulfield Cup on Saturday October 20.
Regular jockey for Gai Waterhouse’s Tulloch Lodge stables, Rawiller’s services have this time been engaged by Morphettville-based trainings Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas to partner with their five-year-old Southern Image mare Southern Speed in the $2.65 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Rawiller has never ridden Southern Speed, a winner of seven of her 24 career starts to date, but connections are confident he will do a good job in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival classic.
“I’m more than happy to have a rider of Nash’s caliber aboard,” co-trainer Macdonald said.
“He’s won a Caulfield Cup (with Elvstoem in 2004) before and is a great jockey.”
Southern Speed was disappointing last time out when beating home just one of her rivals to finish seven lengths away 15th to Cox Plate-bound Green Moon in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last Saturday.
After a post-race vet examination cleared her of any injury connections are pressing onto the Caulfield Cup with Southern Speed who is rated an $18 chance in the latest Caulfield Cup odds at bookmaker.com.au and who was one of the 41 third acceptors taken yesterday.
“The vets have been over her and the chiropractor has been over her with a fine tooth comb and there is nothing wrong,” Macdonald said.
“We’ve given her a couple of easy days on the water walker and she is fine.”
Caulfield Cup betting markets are led by Gai Waterhouse’s flying import Glencadam Gold ($4.50) who secured favouritism with a slashing The Metropolitan win in Sydney over the weekend.
In the Turnbull Stakes Southern Speed was ridden by Glen Boss who has opted to take chase the ride on Glencadam Gold in both the Caulfield Cup and the 2012 Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November instead of maintaining his association with the Adelaide mare.
Boss however was unsuccessful in his pursuit with Waterhouse booking Jim Cassidy to ride the spring cups’ favourite.
Rawiller would not be able to ride Glencadam Gold who is currently weighted on 53.5kg for the Cups, outside of the leading Group 1 jockey for the 2011-12 season’s weight range.
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