Nash Rawiller last chance in All Aged Stakes before suspension

Nash Rawiller produces “ride of the century” on Think It Over. (Photo: Bradley Photos)

He has a costly two-week suspension looming, but champion jockey Nash Rawiller has one last opportunity to take a winner’s high into his ban, at Randwick this Saturday.

The 47-year-old will pilot $14 chance with Unibet, Ellsberg, in the $600,000 Group 1 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m).

His suspension will then come into effect from Sunday – which ends on May 1 – for excessive whip use on Think It Over for his remarkable ride on the extreme outside fence to win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes last Saturday.

Rawiller appealed the severity of his penalties from his “ride of the century”, but only succeeded in having his whopping $40,000 fine reduced to $30,000.

The veteran Golden Slipper and Caulfield Cup winner believes Ellsberg has enough talent to prove himself in Group 1 company.

“He’s a nice horse. He’s performed well at Group 2 level. He hasn’t been able to crack it in a Group 1 yet, but he gets his chance on Saturday,” Rawiller said, with Michael Freedman’s Forbidden Love the $4.60 favourite with Betfair.

Despite the penalties he copped this week, Rawiller will take plenty of confidence into Saturday’s feature.

His genius ride aboard triumphant six-year-old gelding Think It Over in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes had racing pundits struggling for superlatives to describe the unforgettable performance.

Rawiller found better going on the extreme outside fence on a Heavy 10 track, which helped him beat Annabel Neasham’s Zaaki by half a length, after only inching in front inside the last 50m.

“Yeah (I’m still pinching myself over it). You hope you can win one of those with a horse like him. I’ve always felt like we could,” he told

“Although in the lead-up to it I had my concerns about different things, I just tried to go into the race with a real open mind, and be nice and positive.”

After displaying such a remarkable level of courage to run down Zaaki, it is hard to believe Think It Over can experience lapses in confidence.

“I tried to give the horse confidence as we went along, because knowing a horse like him he can hit a bad patch and lose confidence pretty quickly,” Rawiller said.

“But he’s also a horse where if you can give him a bit of confidence he enjoys it.

“(The victory was) right up there with the Golden Slipper win and the Caulfield Cup, and winning in Dubai (with Elvstroem in the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free in 2005).

“They’re all really special, but that race on Saturday is one I’ll never forget.”

Rawiller – the 2022 Nathan Berry Medal winner – also enjoyed a victory in the $50,000 Living Turf 5YO & Up Benchmark 72 Handicap (1100m) at Hawkesbury Racing Club on Wednesday.

He piloted five-year-old gelding Garrison, for Kim Waugh, to a win on the line from Bjorn Baker’s He’s A Hotshot.

“He’s quite a nice horse,” Rawiller said.

“It was probably an easier race compared to his last one when he didn’t have much luck (less than a length behind Nathan Doyle’s Beholder on a Heavy 10 surface in a $35,000 Benchmark 64 Handicap over 1200m at Scone on March 29).

“He improved from that, and I think he can improve again.

“He’s a horse who might surprise people. He had a better track, which he seemed to enjoy.

“He’s still got a bit left.”

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