Jockey Brad Rawiller is close to a return from injury and has begun riding track work.
Brad Rawiller has ticked another box in his bid to return to race riding after competing in a jump-out at Caulfield.
Rawiller has been sidelined since October after a fall at Cranbourne left him with neck fractures to the C4 and C5 vertebrae.
He has been back in the saddle for a fortnight and has been undergoing a slow and steady build-up for his return which could be as early as Saturday week.
“I started off just trotting and cantering one and have kept building it up to where I’m riding five or six,” Rawiller said.
“I’ve been doing gallops since last Wednesday, but even then just going evens.
“This morning (Tuesday) I did two gallops for Godolphin on the course proper and a jump-out and that was a big box ticked.
“I’ve pulled up well so I can’t be happier where I’m at.”
Rawiller spoke with Racing Victoria doctor Gary Zimmerman on Monday who gave him the green-light to ride if a suitable mount was available.
“But he said it might be better waiting another week because of the circumstances with the neck and then we can guarantee you’ll be ready,” Rawiller said.
“The jump-out today and the jump-out at Flemington I did on Saturday after the races shows me I haven’t lost it.”
Rawiller said his weight was under control but he would now shift his focus from rehabilitation training to getting it where he wanted.
He has been riding work for Godolphin and plans to talk to trainer James Cummings in coming weeks about what opportunities might exist following the recent disqualification of Darren Weir who had been one of Rawiller’s main supporters.
“Godolphin have been fantastic building me back into it and at this stage it’s a bit of an open book as the landscape’s changed quite a bit,” Rawiller said.
“So far it’s been all about getting the health right and that’s where I’ve got to thank James and going forward from here I’ll have a talk to James and see what’s required of me there and then take the next step.
“I’m feeling well and getting through this morning is a massive tick.”