Brad Rawiller has declared his fitness to ride Lucky Hussler in the Moir Stakes less than a week after injuring his leg in a barrier incident he says could have been much worse.
Rawiller suffered the injury at Caulfield before the opening race last Saturday when his mount played up in the gates.
He later rode Black Heart Bart in the Group One Underwood Stakes which he duly won but hasn’t ridden in a race since because of the significant bruising to his calf and a soleus strain.
“It was a decent knock. When you’ve got a half tonne of horse squashing you down on a steel barrier, I was really very lucky that I didn’t break something,” Rawiller said.
“When she ended up turning around and facing back to me, if it wasn’t for the barrier attendants getting me out in that half-second turnaround, there’s every chance I could have snapped both legs.”
Thankfully he didn’t and was able to keep himself moving on Saturday to be fit to ride Black Heart Bart, and after treatment this week the jockey was at Moonee Valley on Thursday to ride three horses in track gallops for Darren Weir.
He declared he was right for Friday night’s meeting and looking forward to Lucky Hussler’s return.
Rawiller could not walk on Sunday and a day later saw Racing Victoria doctor Gary Zimmerman who is also looking after the Western Bulldogs AFL team ahead of their grand final.
“Basically he puts you on a program and he said if you stay to the script, you’ll be right for Friday night,” the jockey said.
“Just having the work that I’ve done through the week, every day it’s better. It was no problem riding work this morning but it will be better again tomorrow which is all I can ask.
“There’s a fair bit of bruising there. It’s black now, but that’s no worries at all.”
Rawiller has won two Group One races already this season and while 1000 metres could be short of Lucky Hussler’s best distance, the jockey and Weir believe he’s ready to run well fresh in the Moir.
“I think he’s going super well,” Rawiller said.
“We’re probably going to be back but if we can get a bit of luck I think he’ll be right in the finish.”
Rawiller acknowledged the nine-horse field was “as hot as it gets” with multiple Group One winners Chautauqua and Buffering among Lucky Hussler’s his rivals.
Lucky Hussler, a $7.50 chance, is a Group One winner at Moonee Valley and is making his return having had a bone chip removed from a knee since he last raced in March.