On Saturday, after the running of the 4th race at Randwick, stewards sent a cadet into the jock’s room.
He was instructed to tell Nash Rawiller that they wanted a word with him.
So Nash obliged.
He came into the stewards’ holy of holies and was immediately questioned, then grilled about his ride on MUSHAIREB.
Now, for the record. Mushaireb finished a very game 2nd, earned $23,000 for his connections, and because he led the race at such a furious clip, he helped the overall time be very fast in 2:00.92 for the 2000m trip.
And right there all the trouble began. Stewards seemed to be of the opinion that Rawiller had gone too hard. “You set a very genuine tempo, what were you instructions?” they asked him.
Nash replied that his instructions were to be forward and that, if the gelding was able to, the option to lead was open to him.
He added, “after crossing Fun Fact in the early stages I was of the view that Mushaireb was travelling comfortably enough, albeit at a genuine tempo, and for this reason I was reluctant to reduce the pace of the race.”
The stewards then asked co-trainer of the horse, Michael Freedman, what were the instructions, and Freedman confirmed that Nash was told to be forward. However, the trainer was surprised that he led Fun Fact, a noted leader.
“With the genuine early tempo set by the gelding, particularly in circumstances whereby it was stepping up in distance and carrying additional weight, I was surprised with Nash.
“Mainly because this was not consistent with the instructions that were issued.”
Wow…bombshell right there which made the stewards turn to Nash and wryly ask him, “So Ok, why did you take a sustained look behind you at the 600m mark?”
Rawiller, getting annoyed by the questioning, quickly responded with: “I was aware I had established a reasonable break on the field in the middle stages, so I was endeavouring to ascertain where the other runners in the race were so as to consider whether I would place my mount under additional pressure at that point.”
The stewards pondered that answer along with the way the race had been run.
They believe more needs to be established so have adjourned this line of thinking, questioning and inquiry to a date to be fixed.
When the owners of Mushaireb, this being later on Saturday afternoon, and they being a syndicate put together by Dean Watt from Dynamic Syndications, found out about the grilling Rawiller had received, they went into action.
And in doing so, they’ve added a bit to the story. “As the managing owners of Mushaireb we have no issue with the ride of Nash Rawiller. It was a brilliant tactical ride.
“Our horse was beaten by a better and fitter horse on the day. We support Nash unconditionally.”
On the day, after the grilling, Rawiller was heard saying while leaving the stewards’ room, “I hate this. It’s stupid.
“Most races here are run so bloody slowly.”
There is going to be a fair bit more on this inquiry to come.