Waller To Hold Key To Jockeys’ Premiership

Having claimed the Sydney trainers’ premiership for the third successive year, Chris Waller might just influence the outcome of the jockeys’ title.

The honour of finishing the season as champion rider is up for grabs with Nash Rawiller trailing Hugh Bowman by just 7-1/2 wins with six metropolitan meetings remaining.

Both riders are used heavily by Waller, whose appetite for winners is matched only by his capacity to produce them.

The Rosehill horseman last week broke the record for number of Sydney winners in a season, which at 156 had been held jointly by T J Smith and Gai Waterhouse.

His tally is at 160-1/2 heading into Saturday but there seems little doubt Waller will add to it before the racing season ends on July 31.

Bowman returns from a short break at Warwick Farm where he has three mounts for Waller headed by Gullible, the $4.60 equal favourite for the Share Care Support Centre Sprint.

Rawiller has four rides for the leading stable including the in-form Clever Boy in the fourth race and top fancy Relaxed And Happy in the final event.

Just which of the hoops gets the best books for Waller in the coming weeks could have a major impact on who finishes the season as Sydney’s leading rider.

Bryan Haskins, riding agent for Bowman, says the premiership battle could go either way.

“If Hugh can jag three or four winners then that would make it hard for Nash,” Haskins said.

“But against that Nash is on such a roll it will be up to Hugh to get his weight down and get back on horses he hasn’t been riding.”

Rawiller has been chipping away at Bowman’s lead to get within striking distance, adding another winner at Canterbury on Wednesday.

He isn’t talking up his chances of reeling in the reigning premier rider and is instead content to rely on his work ethic and momentum.

“I’m not really worrying about it, I’m just enjoying my work and giving myself every chance,” Rawiller said.

“To be quite honest I probably expect Hugh to come back and put three on the board quickly and then it will become a long shot again.”

Source : AAP


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