By Brad Gray At Rosehill Gardens
Hugh Bowman is widely regarded as the best jockey in the world and he further cemented his lofty status by taking out his fourth Metropolitan Jockey Premiership.
Bowman himself admitted that it wasn’t “smooth sailing” all season before revealing the peculiar motivation that spurred him on to chase down Brenton Avdulla for the title.
— Australian Turf Club (@atc_races) July 29, 2017
“I’m very proud of what I’ve been able to do. It was a really good goal and having been run down my Nash (Rawiller) a couple of years ago, it gives me great satisfaction that I was in a position where Brenton was commanding but I was able to stay focused and get the job done,” Bowman said.
“I’ll be honest. I read an article on the way to Brisbane written by (Australian Bloodstock’s) Luke Murrell who had rated the top five jockeys in the country and he had Brenton on top, Kerrin second and I think I was fourth. That was pretty motivational.
“He was rating me fourth because I wasn’t consistent enough so I thought okay, I’ll see if I can get better.”
Bowman was quick to pay tribute to his manager Bryan Haskins and the trainers that had supported him over the past 12 months.
“I can only ride the horses I’m on and without the support I’ve been granted, obviously by Chris Waller who is my main supporter, but other trainers sit and wait for services too so they are equally to thank as much as Chris because they work in with me. Without the likes of Snowden, Lees and James Cummings, who are there all the time I couldn’t be here.”
“I had a quiet period after the Melbourne Cup where Chris had a quite couple of months. I think if his horses were running as well as we’re accustomed to seeing I would have been right up with Brenton coming into the autumn carnival.”
It’ll no doubt be a tough defeat for Avdulla to take but Bowman said the young hoop will take away plenty from the experience.
“I understand that he’d be disappointed but I think he’ll be a better rider for it. There is nowhere to hide at the top level and I found that out the hard way. I’m not saying he gave up the run but he has been consistent all year and had his dry patch the last six weeks whereas I had mine in the middle of the year,” Bowman said.
“Brenton will look back on his best season to date, and by a significant margin. I congratulate him and think he should be very proud of himself.
“He is 10 years younger than me. I was 27 when I won my first (premiership) and I’ve got the support of the big stables. He does too but he is not number one (and doesn’t get) the support I do. For him to have done what he has done is an enormous credit to him.”