After more than three years based in Hong Kong, Australian jockey Nash Rawiller has broken through for his first Group One win in the Asian racing capital with victory on Mr Stunning in the feature sprint at the international meeting at Sha Tin.
Adding to the occasion on Sunday, Rawiller’s father Keith made the trip from Australia to watch the race.
“It was a special week leading up to it and all, having him here,” Rawiller told RSN927 on Monday.
“It was actually my second international Group One. I won one in Dubai as well (Elvstroem) but it was a long time coming, that one.
“I’ve been here three and a half years.”
Rawiller began his career in Victoria and later moved to Sydney to ride for the Gai Waterhouse stable in 2007.
He won three Sydney jockeys’ premierships before moving to Hong Kong in 2014.
Mr Stunning was the short-priced favourite for Sunday’s Hong Kong Sprint and after settling just off the leaders, Rawiller sent the sprinter to the front in the straight and he held off D B Pin to win narrowly.
Rawiller has won more than 50 Group One races in Australia and piloted Elvstroem to success in the Dubai Duty Free in Dubai in 2005.
He said getting his first Group One win in Hong Kong was important.
“It was important because until you do it, you may as well be a maiden Group One winner here,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter what you’ve done outside of here, only what counts is here.
“So it was an important win.
“It was a pretty short-priced favourite and had a lot of attention leading into the race.
“I guess when you’re on the best horse it makes your job a lot easier, obviously, but still you’ve got to get the job done and I think going forward it will be a very important win in my career.”
Local rider Derek Leung also scored an important win at the meeting, joining Matthew Chadwick as the only Hong Kong-produced jockeys to win at the International meeting.
Leung won the Mile on Beauty Generation, runner-up in the 2016 Rosehill Guineas when trained by Anthony Cummings under the name Montaigne.