By Ray Hickson
Champion jockey Hugh Bowman is banking on the breaks going his way on exciting youngster Accession after the colt drew awkwardly in Saturday’s inaugural $2m Inglis Millennium (1200m) at Warwick Farm.
Aside from the massive payday for Accession’s owners they are racing for a shot at a $3 million bonus if he completes the Inglis Nursery, Millennium and Group 1 Inglis Sires’ (run in April) treble.
Bowman’s typically cool approach was evident in his reaction to Accession drawing 14, while favourite Dawn Passage fared better in seven.
“He’s a horse that does tend to settle towards mifield or possibly a bit further back in his races so the draw isn’t the end of the world,’’ Bowman said on Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“Whatever wins the race will need some luck in running at some stage and it is no exception for Accession. I’m hoping more than anything that is our horse.’’
The Chris Waller-trained Accession ($3.20 with TAB) has created a big impression with two impressive wins since his debut second to smart Godolphin filly Athiri.
In his latest win at Rosehill he showed a dazzling turn of foot with Punters Intelligence recording his last 600m in 33.80, 0.47 faster than any other in the race.
Bowman said the colt has come on since that win and can only see further upside as he gets older.
“I rode him this morning and I’m very encouraged by the way he’s progressed since that last run,’’ he said.
“He’s a horse that is ticking over really well, he’s very fresh and happy within himself which is ideal going into a signature race like this. We are excited about his prospects this weekend and beyond.’’
Impressive debut winner Dawn Passage assumed TAB favouritism at $3.00 after drawing ideally in seven, alongside stablemate Espaaniyah.
The latter is also aiming to keep the $3m bonus alive as the winner of the Inglis Banner in Melbourne last October.
Co-trainer Adrian Bott said both youngsters have improved from their first-up clash on Australia Day where Dawn Passage was an easy winner while Espaaniyah weakened to be beaten seven lengths after leading.
“On face value it was a disappointing run (from Espaaniyah),’’ he said.
“When you pull it apart she was one who went into that race with more improvement fitness wise. I think we have seen the improvement we needed to be confident to bring her back.’’
Dawn Passage wins impressively on debut at Randwick on January 26
Punters Intelligence shows Espaaniah worked overtime in the early stages running 9.96 between the 800m and 600m so while there’s some regrouping to be done there’s reason for her tiring.
Dawn Passage on the other hand clocked 33.02 for his last 600m as he sailed home a 3.3 length winner in a race Bott said didn’t really suit him.
“We only had one chance to qualify him and we really needed to be winning a fortnight ago or at least running second to get into the field,’’ he said.
“I was a little bit taken by how much authority he won with.
“He got into the perfect position and that’s probably what helped him. It was a great win and he’s come through that in great shape and 1200m is more to his liking.’’