By Ray Hickson
Champion jockey Hugh Bowman is free to ride Winx as the superstar headlines racing at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday after receiving a clearance from stewards on Monday.
And Bowman is also looking forward to literally getting back on the horse when he reunites with Performer, the colt that threw him off at Randwick on March 10, in the feature Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m).
The reigning premier jockey suffered a concussion and some cuts to his face when he was dislodged from Performer as the colt veered left inside the last 200m of the Todman Stakes at Randwick.
“I am looking forward to it, believe it or not,’’ Bowman said of his Slipper ride.
“It seems to be a freak thing, he’s obviously reacted to something but he’s trialled well since so we will get on with it.
“I don’t feel I could have ridden last weekend but having had a good week’s rest I’m feeling much better. You’ve only got one head, don’t you, the brain’s an important part and I had a significant concussion.’’
Winx will be aiming for 24 straight wins when she meets what is shaping up to be a super field in the Group 1 $1m The Agency George Ryder Stakes (1500m) on Saturday.
A decision from Godolphin trainer James Cummings on whether boom colt Kementari joins the likes of Happy Clapper, Clearly Innocent, Invincible Gem, Endless Drama and Crack Me Up in the field will be made prior to Wednesday’s acceptances.
If Kementari, the current TAB favourite for the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m), is there it will set up a mouth-watering clash with Winx that will likely overshadow the Slipper.
Bowman said he sat back and watched Winx be put through her paces by Kerrin McEvoy on Saturday and can’t wait to be the pilot as they chase their 17th Group 1 win together in the Ryder.
“I rested up and kept an eye on things. It’s amazing how many hours are in a Saturday - I’m usually so busy,’’ he said.
“She looked really good and I chatted to Kerrin briefly after. She looked comfortable, as well as ever and ready to go.’’
Bowman said he’s likely to take a few rides at Newcastle on Thursday to get his eye back in before a full book of nine rides on Slipper day at Rosehill.
Aside from Winx and Performer, his Group 1 rides include D’Argento (Rosehill Guineas), Le Romain (The Galaxy) and Prized Icon (Ranvet Stakes).