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What You Missed - Royal Randwick 6th January

By Brad Gray
At Royal Randwick

Best In Business Back In Town
Hugh Bowman was welcomed back in cheeky fashion by fellow hoops, with the world’s best jockey riding in Sydney for the first time since Everest Day on October 14.

It wasn’t a fairytale start for the champion hoop though with Scream Park, the $2.80 favourite in the first, running last but as champions do, Bowman bounced back soon after, guiding Fortensky home in typically patient fashion.

“It’s great to be home. There is no place like it,” Bowman said.

“I’ve got to pinch myself looking back on the year that was but I’ve got some nice horses coming up and we won’t be resting on our laurels.”

Chris Waller heaped praise on Bowman saying, “It was a well-judged ride. I guess that’s why he gets the many accolades he does. He’s not just a great rider but he is a careful rider and has a lot of respect for his peers.”

Awesome Pluck, Not So Awesome... Yet
It’s back to the drawing board for Awesome Pluck.

The Jenny Graham-trained three-year-old still has plenty of growing to do, while his race manners are letting him down too.

“There is no doubt that he has talent but he has got a bit of learning to do,” Hugh Bowman reported.

“He is a good horse, he just needs time. The step up in trip probably worked against him too.”

To the victor goes the spoils though and Runway Ready gave the Matthew Dunn stable their 14th TAB Highway Handicap victory. Not bad given there has been 102 runnings and the stable didn’t cotton onto the series until later in the piece.

“There is not much of her but by gosh she tries hard,” Keira Dunn gushed of the mare before revealing she will join the army of horses from the stable targeting the Country Championships.

Collett's Four Timer
Jason Collet equalled his best ever race day haul with four winners at Royal Randwick.

Aqua D’ivina, Futooh, Burradoo and Siren’s Fury made up Collet’s loot. It surpasses Collet’s previous Australian best of 3.5 wins (one was a dead heat) back in December 2015.

However, the Kiwi hoop did recall riding four winners in New Zealand at Dargaville Race Course, a club that only hold meetings twice a year.

Collett said he took particular satisfaction from riding Siren’s Fury given it’s place in the market as a well-supported favourite but labelled Futooh the pick of them.

“I really liked the two-year-old. It was nice. It was probably the most impressive win. It is always satisfying to get a short priced favourite up though. (Siren’s Fury) was the best chance but it also comes with the added pressure,” Collett explained, before offering an insight into the ride on Siren's Fury.

“The saddle slipped back at the gates and it was never comfortable. I started giving her a few slaps from the 700 and she started to pick up each time.”

Expressway On Radar For Memes
Jason Coyle’s four-year-old mare Memes was the find of the winter and she could find herself in the $200,000 Group Two Expressway Stakes (1200m) come February 3.

“She trialled good the other day,” Coyle said. “I was almost sucked in to nominating for the Gosford 1200m race on Thursday (Takeover Target Stakes). The noms were a bit light but we’ve taken our time. She had a good break after a massive prep."

"I’ll either give her another trial or we’ll miss the trial and run over 1000m in an Open sprint here at Randwick.

“Even something like the Expressway. If she can bounce off the 1000m where we’d whip the shades off, then leave them on into 1200, we know she gets fit quickly and might be half a show.”

Coyle said that his Randwick winner Siren’s Fury deserved the victory and would stay over the 1400m trip for the time being.

“I was almost going to go to a mile but I think she is a seven furlong horse. Over the mile she looms and the last 100m is always soft for her. Leave her at that and you’ll always get a nice tempo, she is always going to relax and she is always going to be strong albeit unlucky sometimes,” Coyle said.

Check out all the results and replays for Saturday's Royal Randwick meeting.

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