BRAD Rawiller hasn’t given up hope of riding boom horse Puissance De Lune again.
The Bendigo jockey said he hoped he would be second in line for the ride aboard the Darren Weir-trained entire, should Glen Boss be unavailable.
Rawiller missed the Bendigo Cup ride aboard the French import due to suspension.
He also missed the subsequent Queen Elizabeth Stakes win at Flemington on Saturday after connections decided to stick with a winning combination.
But racing is an unpredictable beast, and Rawiller hasn’t given up on getting another chance on next year’s Melbourne Cup favourite.
“I would like to think that if Glen couldn’t ride him, I’d be next in line,” Rawiller said. “I still have a good record on the horse.”
Rawiller said it was devastating watching Boss romp to an eight-length victory in this year’s Bendigo Cup – a race he’d wanted to win all his life.
“That was the race he had been set for and I was preparing to ride at 54kg that day,” he said.
While many jockeys can comfortably ride at 54kg – the minimum weight in most races around the country – that’s not an easy task for Rawiller.
It meant Puissance De Lune was a serious chance – he wouldn’t fast for days for a 10-start maiden.
“I knew he was a pretty good horse after I rode him at Sandown (Puissance De Lune’s second start in Australia),” Rawiller said.
“That day I thought he was an unbelievable... he had that bit of X-factor.”
That win at Sandown made it two wins from two starts for the Rawiller-Puissance De Lune combination in Australia.
Nicholas Hall rode the stallion in his third start at Sandown – where he finished fourth as the short-priced favourite.
After a 13-week let-up, it was James Winks’ turn to ride the Gerry Ryan-owned grey galloper, this time in the Gold Nuggett at Ballarat.
Winks was blocked for a run in the straight and finished fifth.
Rawiller had the reins at his next two starts and produced a big win at Mornington under the impost of 60kg and an unlucky second at Warrnambool in a $50,000 Showcase event over 2200m.
In a six-horse field, Rawiller let Puissance De Lune settle at the tail of the field before making his run at the turn for home.
But in a bid to get past tiring horses, the hoop caused interference and was subsequently suspended for 11 meetings for careless riding.
Rawiller would have been free to ride Puissance De Lune in the Bendigo Cup – it would have been his first day back in the saddle – but in a bitter twist, the hoop appealed and had his sentence reduced.
He was free to ride on Cox Plate day – four days before the Bendigo Cup – but lasted only two meetings before copping another suspension.
Again it was for careless riding and Rawiller was handed a nine-meeting ban, putting him in exile until Melbourne Cup day.
“It was pretty tough to take,” he said, knowing that if he didn’t appeal, he would have ridden Puissance De Lune in both the Bendigo Cup and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
“Watching another jockey win – especially in a big race – on the horse you’ve been riding is always tough.”
The spring carnival has virtually been a write-off for Rawiller and he says the new year can’t come quick enough.
“I won’t have any more good rides until the autumn,” he said.
“It’s disappointing, but that’s the way it is.
“You can’t get too down on yourself as a lot of things are out of your control in this industry.”