Nash Rawiller has had a tough few days at Flemington, but his victory aboard Kirramosa in the $ 1 million Victoria Oaks comes as a welcome remedy.
The winner of 53 Group Ones watched in agony as Fiorente raced to victory in the Melbourne Cup following his much-publicised sacking from the horse.
On Tuesday he also had to contend with a bumpy ride without his irons, while earlier Thursday he was dumped from a runner past the post.
But everything unfolded perfectly for Rawiller aboard Kirramosa, who gunned down Zanbagh and Solicit in a driving finish to the 2,500-metre fillies classic.
|Victoria Oaks 2,500m|
|T: John Sargent J: Nash Rawiller|
|T: Guy Walter J: Blake Shinn|
|T: M Ellerton & S Zahra J: Glen Boss|
|Margins: lg hd x sht hd Time: 2:40.64|
“It’s been a tough week,” he said. “You have to roll with the punches.
“It’s not how you get kicked down, it’s how you get back up.”
Kirramosa becomes the eighth of the past 11 favourites to win the Oaks and another to complete the Wakeful-Oaks double.
Her trainer, New Zealand horseman John Sargent, decided only late to run Kirramosa in the Wakeful, fearing she would not handle two runs within a week.
Rawiller, who missed the Wakeful ride thinking she was not going to run, thanked Sargent for honouring his commitment for the Oaks mount.
“I truly thank him and obviously it gives me a great thrill to get the job done for him,” Rawiller said.
“This filly’s a really good stayer and her staying quality showed through. She could be the real deal definitely into the autumn and later on as a four-year-old mare.”
With blinkers on, Solicit raced keenly out in front and to her credit fought on doggedly when Zanbagh and Kirramosa challenged in the straight.
Sargent said running in the Wakeful proved the right decision.
“The big question today was whether she’d back up, but the proven form is going through the Wakeful – that’s why we did it,” he said.
“There’s not a lot of her, not big, but a very big constitution. She’s got a great temperament that makes her a good horse.
“She’ll go for a spell for six weeks and probably target Sydney in the autumn.”
Kirramosa moved in to brush Zanbagh in the closing stages of the race but Blake Shinn aboard the runner-up decided against lodging an objection.
“The horse just outside me had a head on me once the contact was made. She held that initial margin to the wire. If I made it to a nose, I would have protested it,” Shinn said.
“But with the margin as what it was, I didn’t feel as though I had enough grounds for an objection.”
Glen Boss was frank in his assessment of Solicit’s performance.
“Just a big mistake putting blinkers on,” he said.
Nicholas Hall aboard one-time Oaks favourite May’s Dream said his filly raced a little keen in winkers and would be better suited over 1,600m.