WINNING his hometown Cup is inspiration enough for champion jockey Nash Rawiller.
But when Rawiller legs up on Tuscan Fire for today's $240,000 Jayco Bendigo Cup (2400m) he'll have added inspiration - his ailing uncle Stuart Rawiller.
Stuart, who is battling illness, is the man Nash credits as the most influential to his riding career which has netted the Bendigo-raised hoop just shy of 50 Group One wins.
"There's no doubt in the world that I wouldn't be where I am without him,'' Nash said of Stuart.
"I was pretty rough around the edges until he got a hold of me. Stuey was a tremendous jockey himself and a good trainer.
"He put me on a lot of winners when I was a kid just to get me started. That gave me a lot of confidence.
"It would be great to win the Bendigo Cup for him.”
Nash’s 2000 Bendigo Cup win aboard Yammer on a heavy track remains one of the highlights of his career.
“When I was a kid my first taste of racing was going to Bendigo Cup day and soaking up the atmosphere,’’ Nash said.
“I always wanted to win the Bendigo Cup., so winning the Cup on Yammer was special for me.
“I won eight races on him and he helped set up my career.”