Suspended jockey Hugh Bowman will miss the ride on Winx for the Apollo Stakes. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Suspended jockey Hugh Bowman will miss the ride on Winx for the Apollo Stakes. Picture: Dylan Robinson

Bowman to appeal as jocks tussle for Winx ride

HUGH Bowman is appealing the severity of two careless riding suspensions that threaten to rob him of the ride on Winx in her comeback next month.

Bowman was hit with a 12-day careless riding ban at the NZ Karaka Millions meeting at Ellerslie last Saturday, which came on top of another suspension he incurred at Warwick Farm on Australia Day.

The two penalties combined mean that Bowman will be sidelined when the mighty mare resumes in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes at Royal Randwick on February 17

Bowman initially indicated he would not appeal his suspensions but after considering all his options has made an 11th hour bid to retain the Winx ride, today lodging an appeal against the severity of his Warwick Farm penalty, which rules him out until February 9.

This is when his New Zealand suspension kicks in which currently has him sidelined until February 22.

 

Hugh Bowman will appeal his riding bans so he can ride Winx in her return next month. Picture: AAP
Hugh Bowman will appeal his riding bans so he can ride Winx in her return next month. Picture: AAP

 

Bowman's decision to appeal comes as jockeys from across the globe scramble to win the ride on the superstar mare.

Trainer Chris Waller's phone is in meltdown by jockeys desperate for the call-up to replace the suspended Bowman.

"At this stage I've been thinking about throwing my phone away,'' Waller said.

"It's been going off with messages from all over the world, which we are honoured by, as well as riders in Australia and New Zealand.''

Waller, who is in New Zealand at the yearling sales and is due to return to Sydney tomorrow, said he will discuss the situation with Winx's owners and also consult Bowman before making a final decision on who rides the great mare. when she attempts a 23rd consecutive win in the Group 2 $250,000 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 17.

 

 

 

 

 

Bowman is banking on having some success on appeal against the severity of both penalties in a last ditch bid to stay with Winx in the Apollo Stakes.

Winx, the world's best racehorse on turf, is on a 22-race winning streak, the last 19 with Bowman in the saddle.

The horse and jockey have combined to win 15 Group 1 races including three Cox Plates

No other jockey has ridden Winx in a race since James McDonald partnered her to win the 2015 Theo Marks Stakes.

"There's a lot of pressure involved with the rider of Winx, a lot of expectations,'' Waller said.

"I don't want to put any jockey in that situation that's not comfortable with it. I don't want him or her to think he or she may be the reason she doesn't win.''

Sky Thoroughbred Central's form guru Ron Dufficy took to social media for his take on the Winx situation: "If I was a big name jockey I would avoid the ride like the plague".

Dufficy also tweeted: "If they stuff it up it could stick with them for years.''

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riding legend Malcolm Johnston agreed the replacement rider for Winx is "on a hiding to nothing".

"But the jockey that Chris (Waller) selects to Winx next start will get the job done,'' Johnston declared.

"There will be pressure on the jockey, absolutely, but when you are talking about the likes of Winx and Kingston Town, they are world champion racehorses, and they make a jockey's job much easier.''

Tye Angland is among the jockeys considered a chance for the Winx call-up for the Apollo Stakes and he conceded the pressure of riding the great mare is the biggest challenge.

"The hardest thing would be coping with the pressure before you get on Winx on raceday,'' Angland said.

"I think you would need to go back to basics, you are a professional rider and you do this every day, she is another horse so keep it simple and keep her out of pockets, which Hughie has done superbly.''



BMX star ready to represent Australia

BMX star ready to represent Australia

Six-year-old BMX prodigy selected to take on world in Azerbaijan.

Time to play hardball with airport taxis

Time to play hardball with airport taxis

Renewed push to resolve frustrating cross border taxi regulation

A tale of politics, love and intrigue

A tale of politics, love and intrigue

M'bah Theatre company reinvents an old classic

Local Partners