Waterhouse magic proves the making of many jockeys

It’s been the wailing season for jockeys, with Nash Rawiller and Craig Williams both prime subjects.

This week, when considering which hoop had benefited most from being under the wing of Gai Waterhouse, Rawiller came to mind.

Happier times: Nash Rawiller returns after winning the Hong Kong Sprint on Mr Stunning last year.

This was prompted by the Waterhouse stayer Runaway scoring in the St Leger at Flemington on Wednesday, handled by Steve Baster, another she had resurrected.

While Baster is sitting pretty, Rawiller, 43, has had a 15-month disqualification imposed on him by Hong Kong Jockey Club stewards, with the added possibility he could embark on a similar course and distance as Chris Munce in 2007, who spent 20 months in a Hong Kong hoosegow for civil charges relating to the racing breach.

Fortunately, Williams isn’t in the same predicament, although he did feel his good name was being jeopardised due to a Racing Victoria stewards inquiry into the ride on Nature Strip, the $1.65 beaten favourite at Caulfield last Saturday.

“You are having a go at my integrity and character and that is something I am not very happy about,” Williams told them. “You guys [stewards] are sitting behind comfortable chairs, not sitting on this horse, he [Nature Strip] was out of control.”

Rawiller, running third in the Hong Kong jockeys’ premiership, in official speak was guilty of taking gifts for tips and being a party to bets being placed on horses he rode, thus breaching the rules of racing. I’ve never known a champion jockey who didn’t back his judgment. It gives them an edge, which is hardly a threat to humanity.

However, only the best get an invite to participate in Hong Kong, where there are rivers of gold, but the rules are ruthless, introduced by hanging judges. Yes, Rawiller was a successful Melbourne jockey but he became much better with Waterhouse.

His brother, Brad, also exceptional in the saddle, said as much on ABC News Radio’s Hoof On The Till some time ago.

Maybe she doesn’t kick them off from kindergarten level but they thrive with the Tulloch Lodge experience.
Baster, of course, is the latest example in Melbourne, where he again showed how to get the best out of the Waterhouse bone-and- muscle on Runaway following his Pinot triumph for the trainer in the VRC Oaks at the same venue last spring.

Waterhouse has also turned Rachel King from an office girl with UK saddle experience into a highly capable lightweight jockey with beautiful hands and the confidence to get the best from them.

Adam Hyeronimus, too, was a battler until he mounted the Waterhouse rockets. Both King and Hyeronimus will ride fancied mounts for Waterhouse at Saturday's outstanding stand-alone Hawkesbury Cup meeting.

Hyeronimus partners Ecuador in the Hawkesbury Cup, while King, in the Hawkesbury Gazette, navigates My Tagosun, a last-start Wellington winner under 62.5 kilograms.

Waterhouse will use Tim Clarke on the very promising Sedanzer in the Godolphin Crown. King won three races on Sedanzer last campaign but the mare started acting up at the barrier, influencing the trainer that standover tactics in the gates could be beneficial.

In 2010, Waterhouse mentioned Clarke, now one of Sydney’s best, regarding Nash Rawiller in her memoirs, In My Words.

“Nash Rawiller is such a formidable jockey,” she wrote. “I prefer him riding for the stable than against it. The race was won after the horses had gone 200 metres. Upon This Rock’s jockey Tim Clarke eased slightly giving Nash the advantage on The Last General, trained by Clarry Conners. It was a two-horse duel up the straight and in the final 50 metres Nash threw all his body weight driving her to win by a nose. It’s great to see a true craftsman and in Nash Rawiller there is no finer example.”

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