NASH RAWILLER left yesterday's metropolitan meeting at Wyong in better shape than punters keen on backing the jockey-room enforcer's odds-on favourites.
On a day when premier trainer Chris Waller was narrowly robbed of a third raceday quartet of winners in as many weeks, and apprentice Jenny Duggan's first metropolitan winner was soured, short-priced players were hammered.
Rawiller opened proceedings in the first when Gai Waterhouse's $1.35 hotpot Kuchinskaya was no match for Waller's brilliant winner Here De Princess, which is two from two.
''Her work since the first-up win has been substandard, and I may have got it wrong,'' Waller said. ''She goes to the trials and races and turns it on. Plenty have done the opposite, flash trackworkers, do it first start and then don't do it again. There is a bit of condition on her, and she is only going to improve.''
Kiwi whiz-kid James McDonald was sent out on John O'Shea's easing $2.50 favourite Runway Runaway in the fifth, and after leading like Kuchinskaya was the first beaten.
Concerns were raised when Runway Runaway was passed fit to race by a Racing NSW vet after she reared in the barriers and momentarily got a leg caught on a partition.
McDonald told Racing NSW stewards he didn't believe that affected the horse's performance as she pulled up sound and trotted back well.
While Runway Runaway was wobbling into 10th, Waller was the man in the winner's circle welcoming last season's champion New Zealand apprentice Jason Collett back on Midnight Minx. Collett will finish the final couple of months of his apprenticeship at Waller's Rosehill stable.
McDonald bounced back to win a cracking three-year-olds' race on New Zealand trainer Murray Baker's Dundeel, which hadn't started since scoring on debut in his homeland in April. Waller's Kristy Lee was a narrow second.
''There was a lot against him, the 58 kilograms, the tight Wyong track, he had to come from last,'' said Baker's son Bjorn, who trains at Warwick Farm.
''Considering the staying pedigree, what he did was phenomenal, a bit Lion Tamer-esque.''
Baker was referring to Lion Tamer, which won the 2010 Victoria Derby, when prepared by the Bakers in partnership.
''Lion Tamer won the Ming Dynasty on the way to the Derby,'' Baker jnr said. ''He carried topweight, came from last, did a heap wrong, which was a bit reminiscent of this horse. That was a huge win. He is a serious animal.''
While Dundeel was easy in the market at $9, Waterhouse's debutant King Of Olympia was sent out $1.90 favourite but after it led under Rawiller could only finish a distant fifth.
Rawiller earlier got the job done on easing $3.50 favourite Smart Patrol in the third. His deft move off the fence rounding the bend caused a little inconvenience to runners on the outside, and earned a reprimand from Racing NSW stewards but was deemed a winning move.
Apprentice Jenny Duggan wasn't so lucky winning the fourth on Loaded, which firmed from $3.80 into $2.40 favourite. Shortly after straightening, Duggan showed nerves of steel to take a narrow run that caused interference to rivals.
''It is pretty exciting to win my first metropolitan race on this horse, he is my favourite,'' she said. ''I've ridden him for the past two years.''
The move at the top of the straight was deemed ''quite desperate'' by senior steward Greg Rudolph, and Duggan was outed for five meetings.
She will be back next month, unlike untapped filly She's A Fox, which is the latest spring-carnival casualty. She has been sent to the paddock because of injury. Also, the Paul Messara-trained Rekindled Alliance died of a heart attack after working at Scone yesterday.