Apprentice Campbell Rawiller bowed his head in disbelief after landing his first success at Flemington on Defiant Dancer.
“It was a massive thrill. It’s definitely been on my bucket list to get that winner. It has been a goal of mine to win here,” Rawiller said.
The 19-year-old son of top jockey Nash Rawiller was having his seventh ride at the track with his previous best results a pair of second placings.
Rawiller said he had received a confidence boost from Defiant Dancer’s trainer Phillip Stokes when he legged him up as he told him he would be riding his first winner.
He had already received some advice from his father about how to ride the straight and that was to be patient.
“Flemington is a test of patience as the finishing line is a long way from home. It’s easy to get carried away as you need to time your run,” Rawiller said.
“You can lose your composure. I’m picking up the do’s and don’t’s of riding up the straight.”
Rawiller waited until the 300 metre mark before dashing Defiant Dancer clear.
Defiant Dancer ($2.50 fav) went on to win by three lengths over Riding The Wave ($7) with another 1-1/4 lengths to Holbien ($21).
Stokes said Defiant Dancer, who made it four wins on end, had begun his career in great style but lost his confidence after failing in a Caulfield Guineas Prelude.
“He got lost and wasn’t quite good enough, and he’s come back from Adelaide stronger and better. He’s flying,” Stokes said.
Stokes said he would look at starting Defiant Dancer in the Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on New Year’s Day.