By Ray Hickson
Unlike many of his fellow jockeys, Hugh Bowman will head into the Group 3 $160,000 Sky Racing Active San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill with no question marks hanging over his mount.
Bowman partners the hot favourite Bivouac and he said the fact the colt has race fitness and a proven wet track record gives him the jump on his opposition.
“It’s not a query with him because he’s done it before,’’ Bowman said.
“He’s certainly a nice colt, he has an excellent pedigree and we expect him to go well again.’’
Further, the champion jockey believes the Godolphin three-year-old could establish himself as the benchmark colt of his year sooner rather than later which is interesting as Bowman partnered stablemate Microphone to Group 1 success in the autumn.
“I think he put the writing on the wall that he could be one of the dominant colts, if not the dominant colt, for the spring,’’ he said.
“It’s early days and he’s going to meet better horses, there’s no denying that, he’s meeting better horses this week.
“But he was ultra impressive (first-up), you had to see it to believe how well he went. I guess we’re looking for him to improve a little bit or at least hold that form.’’
— Racing.com (@Racing) August 18, 2019
Bivouac, $1.35 favourite with TAB on Friday after the scratching of Yes Yes Yes, resumed with a 4-1/4 length win in the Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 17 (above) is the ruling Golden Rose favourite at $5.50.
He has a win over the boom filly Libertini on a soft 7 track on his CV and in his only heavy track attempt he easily accounted for Cosmic Force, who subsequently started favourite in the Golden Slipper, in the Lonhro Plate in February.
Bowman said Bivouac has some mental improvement in him but sees no issues with Saturday’s race given the program trainer James Cummings has set him on.
“He could be (a problem) if you revved him up so it’s important we keep him relaxed,’’ he said.
“The fact he’s going second-up over 1100m it doesn’t give me any worries. If we were 1400m second-up I’d be concerned because with any young horse you want everything to go smoothly.’’
Bowman wears the Godolphin blue on three occasions at Rosehill and he said he’s keen to avenge Roosevelt’s first-up defeat at Canterbury in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1100m).
The four-year-old, a heavy track winner last October, ran a close third when resuming after working overtime in a race Bowman said definitely didn’t go to plan.
“When he jumped so well the plans were certainly not to go as forward as I did but it was a bit of a leader’s track,’’ he said.
“I felt if I went fast enough I’d be able to set up a comfortable enough lead and relax and of course we were taken on.
“I was already going quick and when he was taken on it just didn’t go well for us and he was found wanting late. He’s since trialled and trialled well, the horse is flying.’’
He said to expect Roosevelt, $7.50 with TAB, to be ridden off the pace on Saturday and come with a burst late.
There are three other horses Bowman will be taking plenty of interest in among his Rosehill rides – the Kiwi visitors The Good Fight and Quick Thinker and Sydney Cup winner Shraaoh.
Bowman won the Group 3 $160,000 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) for Quick Thinker’s co-trainer Murray Baker back in 2010 on Lion Tamer and later won the Victoria Derby the colt.
“The race takes me back to when I rode Lion Tamer a few years ago, it was the start of a pretty good association,’’ he said.
And he’s been on board Shraaoh, who resumes in the Group 3 $160,000 Iron Jack Premier’s Cup (1900m), in a lot of the import’s work
“He’s a horse that’s been ticking over nicely at home,’’ Bowman said.
“I’ve had a bit to do with him, I haven’t ridden him in a race for obvious reasons (weights) so I’m very interested to see how he races.’’