Leading jockey Nash Rawiller is ready to resume his decorated career after a long disqualification.
Nash Rawiller has ridden multiple Group One winner Le Romain in a Newcastle barrier trial as he begins the countdown to his return to race riding.
Rawiller has been sidelined by a 15-month disqualification for tipping horses he rode in Hong Kong.
After originally deciding to reignite his career in Victoria where his son Campbell has been accepted to the Victorian Apprentices Academy, Rawiller will make Sydney his home after spending the past few weeks riding trackwork and trials in NSW where he was able to get the paperwork processed sooner.
Rawiller went to Newcastle on Tuesday to ride four Kris Lees-trained horses including Le Romain who had a soft trial for third.
“I did plan to base myself in Melbourne. I’ve had the luxury of living down there for the last eight months,” Rawiller told Sky Sports Radio.
“I came up here and started riding work. The response I’ve had since I’ve been here has been unbelievable – from owners I’ve ridden for over the years.
“My family is happy to kick off up here.”
Rawiller, who will return at Kembla Grange on Thursday week, says he is as fit as he can be and walking around at 57kg.
“I’m not putting too much pressure on myself early,” he said.
“The first week was really tough but since then I’ve been working hard and riding trackwork and trials as much as I can. I’ve come a long way.”
When Rawiller was outed his plans to come back to Australia were thwarted when he was detained at the Hong Kong airport.
He was stranded in Hong Kong without his passport and no idea whether the ICAC was going to charge him as they did with Chris Munce several years ago.
Munce was charged and jailed and Rawiller admitted he was afraid of the same fate.
“I had one foot in the door. It was a bit of a shock. They investigated me for the next five months and I was held there with my passport taken off me and just had to let it play out.
“I knew what I had done and knew I probably shouldn’t have been in the position I was in but it had to go through the process.
“Chris Munce in jail is the first thing that came to mind. I knew in my heart what I had done and that’s not to say what Chris had done because I didn’t know, but I kept confident the whole way through that everything would be OK.
“They were still very trying times obviously.
“It was the unknown of not really knowing of where it would all end up.
“I think the positives out of all of it are my family has never been as close.
“I’ve never had as much respect for my best friends and mates and close family friends and it’s probably made me a better person.”
A three-time Sydney premiership winner, Rawiller has won Group One races in Australia, Dubai and Hong Kong.