Jockey Nash Rawiller is adamant the time has come for Sydney racing’s ‘nearly man’ in 2020 to fulfil his Group 1 destiny in Saturday’s Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick.
Rawiller rides Epsom favourite Star Of The Seas in the $1 million feature as the Chris Waller-trained six-year-old looks to end a luckless recent run of three Group 1 runner-up finishes in his past four starts.
Star Of The Seas ran a slashing second in the Doncaster Mile behind Nettoyer earlier this year and returned in top form this spring with a pair of runner up finishes in both the Winx Stakes and George Main Stakes.
The son of Ocean Park has finished within half a length of the winner on all three occasions.
Kolding upsets stablemate Verry Elleegant in the George Main Stakes. 🏆
What did you make of the favourite? pic.twitter.com/nR6aa2bfLw
Sam Clipperton piloted Star Of The Seas in all three of those starts but connections have opted for a change of jockey in the Epsom with the hope Rawiller can help break the Group 1 duck.
Rawiller rode Star Of The Seas in the Doncaster Prelude earlier this year and believes the gelding is ready to put his name up in lights on Saturday.
“It is going to be a terrific race, which is what you expect in an Epsom but I think his timing is perfect,” Rawiller said.
“He has had those two terrific placings and in a Group 1 weight-for-age so he gets in there good at the weights.
“It should hold him in very good stead and if he can continue in the same form, he should be right in it.
“If everything goes his way he is right there isn’t he. His form is impeccable.”
Star Of The Seas become the $5 outright favourite for the Epsom Handicap after drawing barrier one at the draw on Tuesday morning.
Nash Rawiller rides Star Of The Seas in the Epsom Handicap. Photo by Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
He leads an eight-strong hand of Waller-trained horses in the feature race where Clipperton will now pilot Yulong Prince for the stable.
Rawiller, who was booked to ride Behemoth in The Everest at the start of the week, also has a strong chance in The Metropolitan where he rides Mirage Dancer for Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young.
The son of Frankel was third in last year’s Caulfield Cup and arrives in the Metropolitan after unplaced lead up runs over unsuitable shorter trips in Melbourne.
“He has had a couple of runs back and has been hitting the line nicely but I think if you go back to his Caulfield Cup run he would be the horse you’d want to be on,” Rawiller said.
Mirage Dancer is an $18 chance in The Metropolitan (2400m).
Originally published asStar shooting for Group 1 breakthrough
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