In-form jockey Damian Browne will continue an enthralling strike-rate duel with champion rider Nash Rawiller when he rides at Doomben on Wednesday.
Statistics for the top 100 Australian jockeys in 2010-2011 reveal Browne is the best strike-rate rider in the country but he is locked in a three-way battle with Rawiller and Tasmanian Brendan McCoull to finish the season that way.
While Rawiller has a strong book at Warwick Farm on Wednesday, Browne will be trying to keep the Tulloch Lodge rider at bay with his select mounts at Doomben.
Browne has taken his almost mandatory four rides with two of them – Tail And All and Stand And Cheer – early favourites to enhance his strike-rate.
With 76 victories from 311 rides this season, Browne goes into the midweek meeting with a 24.44 winning percentage.
His figures are marginally superior to the high-flying Rawiller’s, whose winning percentage is 24.15 with 107 winners from 443 rides.
Browne has defied medical advice to ride again but limits his book to four rides at each meeting.
“It’s more a management thing,” he said. “I found in the past when I’ve had seven or eight rides I’ve had trouble walking the next day.”
Browne was sidelined for two years when he smashed his leg in a race fall.
He was back in the saddle less than a month before another fall kept him out for another year.
“The doctors told me to give racing away because they reckoned my leg wouldn’t stand up to the rigours of riding but I was determined to ride again.”
Browne’s winter carnival was interrupted because of suspension but he was back in winning form when he rode Adnocon to victory in the Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich on Saturday.
Since returning on Friday he has booted home six winners from eight rides with the promise of more to come at Doomben.
“I leave it up to my manager to sort out which rides I take and which ones I don’t,” he said.
“Obviously it’s hard to please everyone but my manager seems to get it right most times.”
The Robert Heathcote Tail And All is strongly fancied to break through in maiden company while Stand And Cheer is out to make it three wins from his past four starts.
Liam Birchley’s first starter Veico and the New Zealand-trained three-year-old Conscious Mistake complete Browne’s book.