Brad Rawiller had watch Trust In A Gust’s maiden Group One win from the sidelines but is back aboard for what he believes is another winnable feature in the Toorak Handicap.
The heavyweight jockey was ruled out of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes in which Trust In A Gust carried just 52kg to beat topweight Dissident in a head-bobbing finish.
The Darren Weir-trained four-year-old rises to 56.5kg in Saturday’s Group One Toorak (1600m), allowing Rawiller to reunite with the horse he has ridden in 10 of his 16 starts for five wins.
“It was disappointing that I couldn’t ride him in the Rupert Clarke but it was great for the team and I was rapt for Damian Lane getting his first Group One winner,” Rawiller said.
“Now I just can’t wait to get back aboard tomorrow.”
Rawiller had been confident Trust In A Gust was up to making the step up in the Rupert Clarke after going to a new level this preparation.
“I just thought he really met the criteria needed to win a race like that,” Rawiller said.
“Dissident was always going to be tough to beat. He’s probably the most in-form horse of the spring, but he (Trust In A Gust) had a big weight pull on him so I did think he could beat him.”
Trust In A Gust shares favouritism for the Toorak with Sydney mare Arabian Gold at $5.50 while Bull Point, who ran home well for third in the Rupert Clarke, is at $6 ahead of front running mare Solicit ($6.50).
While Rawiller acknowledges Trust In A Gust rises significantly in weight, he still believes he can win.
“I think it’s a very winnable race. I don’t think it’s any stronger than what the Rupert Clarke was,” he said.
Trust In A Gust rallied after being headed in the Rupert Clarke and Rawiller knows the horse will dig in for a fight if needed in the Toorak.
Arabian Gold will press her claims for a Cox Plate berth when she chases her first Group One win.
The David Vandyke-trained mare won the Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last spring, beating Solicit.
Another Cox Plate hopeful, the Marco Botti-trained last-start English Group Two winner Guest Of Honour, adds an international flavour to the race and has top weight of 58kg with Damien Oliver to ride.