BENDIGO’S multiple Group 1-winning jockey Brad Rawiller has ridden his first winner since returning from a serious neck injury.
Rawiller, who suffered fractures to his neck and collarbone and concussion after a race-fall at Cranbourne last October, broke through for a win aboard the David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained At Dusk at Ballarat on Monday.
It was just his third start back in the saddle and followed a second aboard another Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig-trained galloper Sense Of Doubt earlier on the eight-race card.
Rawiller had one ride at last Tuesday’s meeting at Seymour.
The 2009 Caulfield Cup-winning jockey praised the support of his young family – wife Carolyn and children Cleo and Lucas – as pivotal in his return.
“I have to send out my biggest thanks to Carolyn at home, she’s just been an amazing support over what’s been at the end of the day a horrible time,” he said.
“And the kids Cleo and Lucas have been amazing. After that first couple of weeks they didn’t want me to go back riding, but at the end of the day they’ve been the ones who couldn’t wait to see me get back out there riding.
“I am sure they will be cheering at home. (I) love you Cleo and Lucas, thank you for being there this last four months.
“I’m pretty happy.”
Rawiller expressed delight his first winner back was for the trainer he has had a long association with in David Hayes.
“It’s been a long road back and it’s been a great honour to get the winner for David, he’s given me a lot of support since I’ve been back and I’ve ridden a lot of jump outs for him and some gallops … and then to get his support race day, that’s even better than riding a winner for him,” he said.
“That certainly ticks a big box.
“Thanks to everyone’s support out there, it has been very lifting when you have your down times. At the end of the day everyone has been right there behind me.”
Rawiller, a winner of 23 Group 1s, eight Groups 2s and 31 Group 3s, was one of two jockeys injured in the fall at Cranbourne on October 24.
Brian Higgins, who suffered a collapsed lung, returned to racing last month and broke through for his first win back at Wangaratta on March 2 aboard the Richard Laming-trained Shoot for Coomaah.
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