Burning Front’s return to the winner’s stall at Flemington is poised to reignite the riding career of Brad Rawiller, who won his 12th race on the veteran in the listed Chester Manifold Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
Rawiller, who turns 40 this year, admitted he had been struggling with his weight in recent months but said the win on one of his favourite horses will serve him well over the coming weeks as he knuckles down to reduce his weight.
‘’I’ve had a tough few months with suspensions and having trouble with my weight – I’ve been struggling to get below 58 (kilograms) – but it’s time to get serious,’’ the jockey declared after scoring the all-the-way win on the $8 chance in wet conditions at Flemington.
Rawiller said he had engaged the services of personal trainer and diet expert Rod Johnson to help him reduce his weight, which the rider claims has been difficult to control after a spate of careless riding suspensions.
Two years ago, Rawiller won the $2 million Magic Millions Guineas aboard Mahuta but his weight troubles meant he missed out on the trip this year.
Burning Front and Brad Rawiller, picture Quentinjlang.com
Darryn Murphy, representing trainer Darren Weir, said the trainer would be delighted that Burning Front could rediscover his best form and win his 19th race after a spate of sub-standard performances.
‘’Of all the races Darren’s won, this would be one of the most satisfying,’’ Murphy said. ‘’He was there to be beaten at the 200 but he wouldn’t lie down.’’
As for Rawiller, Murphy said he felt the rider was getting back into some form over the past few weeks. ‘’I am rapt for Brad, he’s a real team player and I reckon he’s got his eye back in again, which is great to see.’’
Rawiller took Burning Front ($8) to the front as soon as the field jumped away but he was tracked by the $3.90 favourite Dollar For Dollar, who loomed up on his outside at the 200 metre mark to race to the front, only to see Burning Front kick strongly.
On the line, Dollar For Dollar tired into third place with Chamois Road ($8) running on strongly to claim his second stakes placing in a row.
Tony McEvoy’s Melbourne foreman Michael Shepherdson said the race favourite Dollar For Dollar just knocked up in the worsening conditions at Flemington.
‘’He had a good blow after the race and he just felt the pinch on the downgraded track but he ran well as always.’’