Burning Front has bounced back to winning from in the Chester Manifold Stakes in a special and satisfying moment for his jockey Brad Rawiller and the gelding’s connections.
The Darren Weir-trained Burning Front had amassed more than $1.3 million prize money in his 56 starts leading in Saturday’s Listed 1400m race at Flemington but the seven-year-old had gone winless in his past eight starts, including seven this season.
Despite carrying equal topweight of 60kg, Burning Front ($8) withstood a challenge in the straight from in-form Dollar For Dollar ($3.90) before scoring by a length over Chamois Road ($8).
Dollar For Dollar finished another half-neck away third.
“It was pretty special today because it’s been a while since we’ve seen the best of him and you always just wonder how much longer he can keep going,” Rawiller said.
“He’s been such a great horse for myself and also for the team and a great group of connections.
“They’ve stuck by me for a long time.”
Rawiller, who has had a lean run in recent months, likened the excitement crossing the line to some of his Group One wins during his career.
“It’s been a tough last couple of months for me, I guess,” he said.
“I’ve had a few suspensions and my weight hasn’t been so good.”
He said Burning Front showed in a track gallop this week that he could be back near his best.
“Handicap wise today I still thought it might be a little bit too much with the big weight, but that’s how tough he is,” the multiple Group One-winning jockey said.
“When he’s on song he knows where the winning post is.”
Rawiller has ridden Burning Front in 23 of his races for 12 wins and seven placings so the gelding is among the jockey’s favourites.
“He’s not the best horse I’ve ridden but he’s as tough as any horse I’ve ridden,” Rawiller said.
“You just know what you’re going to get all the time from him.”
Burning Front formed part of a winning treble at Flemington for Weir with wins to Twitchy Frank and Ken’s Dream.