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Image: Steve Hart
Political Debate will be out to end a two-year hiatus from the winner's circle in the Wagga Cup

Nash Rawiller isn’t riding in the Listed Wagga Gold Cup, but he has been instrumental in the course of one horse’s path to the $200,000 country showpiece.

Rawiller partnered Political Debate first-up when he closed late over an unsuitable 1400m and after handling him in a subsequent track gallop, he wanted to stick with him at his next start.

So keen was Rawiller that he convinced the four-year-old’s connections to bypass the JRA Plate (2000m) at Randwick on April 20 in favour of a benchmark 1800m race a week later in the hope he could make the horse’s weight.

“Nash galloped him ten days prior to his last start and he is the reason we didn’t run him the weekend before last,” trainer Chris Waller’s assistant Charlie Duckworth said.

“He said, ‘can you wait ten days and see if I can ride him?’. The horse didn’t get enough weight for Nash, but that’s how well he is going.”

Political Debate got back from a wide gate and was doing his best work over the final 200m when fifth to Let’Srollthedice at Rosehill last Saturday.

He has barrier four in Friday’s Wagga Gold Cup (2000m), which he will tackle on a six-day back-up having handled a similar task earlier in his career when he scored his first and only career win at Eagle Farm and returned a week later to just miss behind Sheeza Belter in the 2022 J J Atkins (1600m).

Waller has an outstanding strikerate in the Cup having won half of the past 10 renewals and Duckworth believes Political Debate has the right profile for the race.

“We’ve got a pretty solid record in the race the last few years, and with Tommy (Berry) as well, so hopefully we can continue that,” Duckworth said.

“It looks a really nice race for him and he has bounced through his last run.”

The stable has adopted the same tactics with Pervade, who will also back up from Rosehill after setting the pace and sticking on soundly to finish sixth to Let’srollthedice.

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott will be represented in the feature by 2022 Sydney Cup winner Knights Order, who is first-up.

Bott says the nine-year-old has returned to work in excellent condition and continues to thrive despite his advancing age.

While the gelding usually improves off his return run, Bott is adamant Knights Order can be competitive at Wagga as he heads towards next month’s Brisbane Cup (3200m), a race he won in 2021.

“I can’t wait to get him back because he is looking well and training well,” Bott said.

“He will probably head to Queensland and it won’t surprise me to see him come out and have a good campaign again.”

 
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