Nash Rawiller and Matthew Dunn have combined for success with Cepheus in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday afternoon.
The Queensland based galloper, Cepheus now holds a free ticket into the Group 1 Doncaster Mile after a bold front running effort to score at a good price for punters taking the $15 from online bookmakers.
Nash Rawiller pinged the lids and never let up heading for home best, leaving his rivals chasing a long way out.
The Chris Waller-trained Waterford looked to loom like the winner down the outside with Brett Prebble aboard, but was never able to head Cepheus who continued to bolt along.
Caesars Palace was run well into third without a lot of luck in the straight, while Bandersnatch was the best of the rest landing fourth spot at the finish.
2023 Group 2 Ajax Stakes Replay – Cepheus
Trainer Matthew Dunn spoke post-race and was pleasantly surprised by the tactics of Nash Rawiller when electing to lead on Cepheus.
“It surprised me to see him in front actually,” said Dunn.
“When he was up there I thought ‘what are we going to do from here?’ Good to know that the horse has come back in good order and a big thanks to OTI and the owner group for being so patient with him.”
“He bowed a tendon 18 months ago and it’s a long road back to here.”
When asked if they’re heading to the Doncaster, it was an empathic response from Matthew Dunn.
“Absolutely and that was the plan when he came down,” said Dunn.
“He arrived down Thursday morning and he travelled well. He got a bit wound up in the yard today which was a bit of a concern, but he’s hot and so is everybody else today so probably can’t hold that against him.”
Nash Rawiller spoke to the tactics post-race as well, before acknowledging the outstanding trainer performance form Matthew Dunn.
“I think I rated him pretty good,” said Rawiller.
“He was going to sit three-wide in a muddling ran race, so I thought I’ll set my own tempo.
“Full credit to Matty Dunn, the whole joint has been through a bit of a shake up in recent times.
“It’s great to see him bring a horse back to town today and bounce back. Great horseman, great trainer and to have this horse perfectly presented for today’s race.”
If the Doncaster Mile is next on the agenda, you can get $26 with online betting sites for the Ajax Stakes winner.