Victorian jockey Brad Rawiller will attempt to win the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) for a second time when he partners Resortman in the $1.5 million feature at Ascot on Saturday.
Rawiller answered the SOS call from Bunbury trainer Michael Lane and will make a flying visit to Perth before returning to Warrnambool for a book of rides on Sunday.
Rawiller, who has been riding for nearly 30 years, is no stranger to Perth racing, having been domiciled in the west for three years before going back home in February.
That Lane turned to Rawiller is no major surprise with the multiple Group 1 rider forming a fruitful relationship with Resortman during his three year tenure in Perth.
Last season Rawiller and Resortman combined to win the Listed Idyllic Prince Stakes (1300m) at Belmont and the Group 3 Eurythmic Stakes (1400m) at Ascot.
Rawiller reunites with the Helmet seven-year-old after he ran a competitive seventh in April’s inaugural $4 million Quokka when beaten just over two lengths by Overpass.
“It’s nice to pick up a ride in a Group 1, absolutely,” Rawiller told The Races WA.
“I got the call up a couple of days ago with Chris Parnham riding Snowdome.
“He (Resortman) has always done pretty well for myself, we’ve had some joy.
“In a race like this you never know, he’s a good horse.
“His run in The Quokka, even though he had every chance, was terrific, he wasn’t beaten far.”
Resortman, successful in 10 of 30 races, goes into the Winterbottom Stakes off two trials and gets the benefit of a good alley in barrier nine.
He last raced in May when a narrow third to Railway Stakes hero Bustler and The Velvet Queen in the Belmont Sprint (1400m).
Resortman is currently $41 for the Winterbottom Stakes. Overpass the warm $2.60 favourite. Barrier 11 has not put punters off.
Triple Missile, to be ridden by Damien Oliver, is $6, Ripcord is next at $7 and Oscar’s Fortune is out to $9.50 after copping gate 13.
“He’s not getting any younger, but Michael (Lane) is happy where he is,” Rawiller said.
“It’s not like Michael Lane to have him in a race like this thinking he’s not some hope.”
Elite Street gave Rawiller his 25th Group 1 victory in the 2021 Winterbottom Stakes and he’s hoping another triumph in Perth’s premier sprint can close out 2023 on a high.
Rawiller, a winner of close to 3000 races, admits the second half of the year has been a battle, fighting weight demons and riding opportunities.