Defiant Dancer, ridden by Campbell Rawiller, wins at Flemington (Image: Racing Photos/Natasha Morello)
His father Nash was stood down for the meeting due to increased COVID-19 concerns but Campbell Rawiller made sure the family name was not forgotten with a decisive win aboard Defiant Dancer at Flemington on Saturday.
For the 19-year-old apprentice, the victory registered his first at Flemington and just his 95th overall.
Nash Rawiller was to have ridden at the meeting but after the COVID-19 breakout north of Sydney, he as well as fellow riders Luke Currie and Craig Williams were stood down from the Flemington as they had recently been to New South Wales.
For young Rawiller, the victory was special as it came for trainer Phillip Stokes.
"It’s a massive thrill," he said. "I just have to say a big thank you to the connections and to Mr Stokes as well. He’s always throwing me a very chunky bone and he’s always looked after me and I have to say a big thank you to them. They’ve been great supporters of mine."
WATCH: Defiant Dancer wins at Flemington
Rawiller said he victory would prove a tonic for his grandfather. ‘’I just want to give a special mention to my grandpa, Bob Johnson, he’s a massive supporter.
"He’s going through a few things at the moment with his health and he means the world to me."
Defiant Dancer made it a one-way affair down the straight course over 1200 metres in the benchmark 84 handicap, running clear to win by three lengths over Riding he Wave with Holbien a length and a quarter away third.
Trainer Phillip Stokes said he was pleased to play a part in Rawiller’s first Flemington win: "I’m really happy for Cam, he had a lap full of horse. I just said ‘get cover’, I said ‘produce him early’, he did that."
"He was telling me he had two seconds at Flemington and I’m really happy he’s got the monkey off his back and really happy for the connections.
"He’s a horse that started off here, got lost and wasn’t quite good enough, and he’s come back from Adelaide stronger and better. He’s flying."
Stokes said the $160,000 Standish Handicap (1200m) over the same course on January 1 looked ideal for the improving sprinter.