Brad Rawiller will do what he can to make sure no-one else gets the ride on emerging stayer Signoff.
The Caulfield Cup-winning jockey even turned down a Group One opportunity in Sydney to stick with him at Bendigo last start.
And he’s looking forward to riding Signoff again at Moonee Valley on Saturday in the Darren Weir-trained stayer’s final start of his first racing campaign before attention turns to the spring.
Rawiller has had a big opinion of Signoff since he first rode him to a debut win at Terang in December, but it wasn’t until the gelding’s fifth win from six starts at Bendigo the jockey felt the horse started to put it all together.
Signoff settled just behind the speed in the benchmark 84 over 2400m, and after balancing up in the straight he quickly put five lengths on his rivals.
Rawiller said Signoff had always travelled like a good horse in his races but had not been really putting his opposition away, despite winning.
“At Bendigo after getting a perfect trail and then a good amount of time to balance up, I gave him a real kick along at the 250 metre mark to see what he’s got, and he just blew them away straight away,” Rawiller said.
“I eased off the last 100 metres.”
The jockey is convinced the best is still ahead of the stayer and the Bendigo Cup is a spring target.
“I just can’t wait to see him six months down the track,” Rawiller said.
The jockey had the option to ride Criterion in the Randwick Guineas last Saturday week but is more than comfortable with the decision to knock it back.
“Signoff was just a horse I want to be sticking to in the future,” he said.
A son of 2007 English Derby winner Authorized, Signoff is one of 19 nominations for Saturday’s 2500m benchmark 90 handicap.