Nash back on big stage as Kiwis strike again

The Bostonian gave champion jockey Nash Rawiller his comeback Group 1 win as the New Zealanders continued their domination of the Sydney majors this autumn carnival.

Rawiller rode a brilliant, stalking race on The Bostonian who ran down a gallant Savatiano to win the $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick.

This was Rawiller’s first Group 1 winner since his return to the saddle last July after completing a 15-month riding ban incurred in Hong Kong. Rawiller, who is leading the Sydney jockeys’ premiership, admitted it was a relief to get that Group 1 winner.

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Nash Rawiller was back in the Group 1 winners’ circle with The Bostonian. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“It’s great,’’ Rawiller said after increasing his career tally of Group 1 wins to 61. “I’ve been knocking on the door but this is my first Group 1 since I’ve been back from Hong Kong.

“It’s good timing to get the monkey off my back going into the autumn carnival.

“The season so far has been above my expectations and I’m thankful for the support I’m getting. It can be a rollercoaster ride, this game, but since I’ve been back a lot of my good supporters have stuck by me.’’

The Kiwis are dominating the carnival so far!?

The Bostonian wins the G1 Canterbury Stakes @royalrandwick with @nashhot in the saddle for Tony Pike!

The win of the Tony Pike-trained The Bostonian came a week after another New Zealand trainer, Jamie Richards won the first Sydney Group 1 races of the year with Te Akau Shark (Chipping Norton Stakes) and Probabeel (Surround Stakes).

“It’s been a great couple of weeks for the Kiwis,’’ Pike said.

“Jamie had a super weekend last weekend which is great, two Group One wins in the same day and The Bostonian has come over and won.

“We haven’t had a lot of numbers over here yet but I think a fair few are coming over in the next few weeks after the Derby and the Oaks.’’

The Bostonian stormed past Savatiano to win the Canterbury Stakes. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

The Bostonian ($7.50) wore down early leader Savatiano ($2.35 favourite) to win drawing away by more than a length with Mister Sea Wolf ($31) running on for third.

The disappointments of the race were Godolphin’s glamour mare Alizee, who was beaten more than 11 lengths into fifth placing, while boom colt Standout was sixth, 13 lengths in arrears.

James Cummings, trainer of Alizee, could offer no excuses for the mare’s lacklustre effort.

“It’s a race I want to watch again,’’ Cummings said. “They flew up front so (Alizee) being three-wide with no cover probably was not the place to be. But Savatiano has run great, we were very happy with her.’’

Standout’s trainer Gerald Ryan was also searching for excuses after the race.

“He looked like he was travelling and as soon as he was let off the bit he was struggling,’’ Ryan said. “Whether it was the ground or not I don’t know. Tommy (Berry) said he travelled well, but as soon as he let him go his stride went from ‘six feet to two feet’.’’

The Bostonian is likely to take on fellow Kiwi Te Akau Shark in the George Ryder Stakes. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Berry said he felt Standout was travelling like the winner on the home turn.

“At the top of the straight when I got all the splits he towed me through but then at the 200m he really tightened up, he lost his action in behind a bit,’’ Berry said.

“He obviously wasn’t happy in the going and whether there is an issue I didn’t want to take the chance of finding out.

“A horse like him, he has never shortened up like that in his life.’’

The Bostonian is now likely to have a showdown with Te Akau Shark in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill Gardens in two weeks.

A clash with The Shark could be looming…@bernadetecooper spoke to @nashhot and Greg Radley spoke to Tony Pike after The Bostonian took out the G1 Canterbury Stakes @royalrandwick not long ago!

“Te Akau Shark’s electric, he’s a super horse and he’s beaten us before but we will just have to have a crack and it might be a Kiwi quinella,’’ Pike said.

“The Bostonian just needs a bit of give in the ground. Melbourne was too firm for him. I thought he could win the Manikato (Stakes) but it just didn’t rain, it was very firm that night and he just didn’t let down on it.

“They were talking it wasn’t the strongest Group 1 sprint race around but there were still some very smart horses in it and The Bostonian’s very good fresh.’’

Nash Rawiller and Tony Pike were all smiles after The Bostonian’s win. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images


Matt Jones

Chris Waller wouldn’t say if Nature Strip was the best sprinter in the country following his demolition of a hot field at Randwick on Saturday but when he’s on song he’s the hardest horse in Australia to run down.

“He’s right up there. He’s very fast and he’s very good,” Waller said.

Nature Strip was below par run when fourth as $1.45 favourite in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington first-up then changed into a world beater yesterday.

His regular jockey James McDonald wasn’t surprised by the turnaround as he beat Redzel by three lengths.

“That was better wasn’t it,” McDoanld said. “It’s just him every time and we can’t do anything about it. It’s just whether he turns up or not.

That's the Nature Strip we all know and love!

The @cwallerracing favourite dominates the Challenge Stakes @royalrandwick for @mcacajamez ??

“There is a peanut between his ears. Some days it works, some days it doesn’t.

“There is not a feel like it on a race horse. It’s pretty incredible and a pleasure to sit on top – when it does go wrong it goes terribly wrong.”

Turn up he did on Saturday as he broke their hearts by running 10 seconds flat between the 800m and 600m.

He set such a frantic temp that star runners Santa Ana Lane and Deprive couldn’t keep up until they got home well in the closing stages.

Waller kept calm after the first-up loss and so did the punters who sent the chestnut out a $3.10 favourite.

James McDonald looks for the opposition as Nature Strip cruised to victory at Randwick. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“As always when you go through things so thoroughly and you have a short priced favourite get beaten you go back to the drawing board and keep assessing,” Waller said.

“We took it a bit cheap last start. We didn’t really have a tactic of harnessing how much speed he does have and unfortunately that can get him into a bit of trouble. When you are burning that much gas, the gas runs out.

“Here today he was a little more relaxed and the horse was in a good comfort zone.”

Waller won’t send him to Melbourne again this autumn because he’s off to England to compete in the King Stand Stakes at the Royal Ascot carnival in June.

Chris Waller couldn’t hide his delight after Nature Strip’s win in the Challenge Stakes. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

He’ll likely trial him before his autumn grand final in the $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 11.

“I’d say we’ll just keep him fresh. Racing in the William Reid Stakes is highly unlucky. If we weren’t going overseas I’d be running him in everything but we’ve got to represent Australia and New Zealand,” Waller said.

Kerrin McEvoy said the veteran Redzel still had plenty of life left in him after his second place finish when unlucky.

“Jungle Edge laid in on him when we straightened up and had to switch course. He regrouped and rallied well the last furlong so great run. He feels fantastic,” McEvoy said.

Originally published asNash back on big stage as Kiwis strike again

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