Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller is contemplating delaying champion mare Winx’s Autumn Carnival pipe owner after regular rider Hugh Bowman lost his appeal against a careless riding suspension.
Bowman appealed the severity of a careless riding suspension he received at Warwick Farm meeting on January 26 but Racing NSW Appeal Panel dismissed the appeal.
Bowman also received a second suspension the next day at the Karaka Million Race Day meeting at Ellerslie in New Zealand which is scheduled to keep him on the sidelines until February 22.
Waller had planned to kick off Winx’s Autumn Carnival campaign in the Group 2 $250,000 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 17 but is considering delaying her comeback to avoid breaking up the winning combination of Winx and Bowman.
Bowman has been aboard Winx for twenty-one of her twenty-six wins, including twenty of her twenty-two race winning streak that concluded with her record equalling third successive victory in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley during the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
“Do we need to risk another jockey? Does she need to race in the Apollo?” Waller said.
“We’ve seen before she races well fresh. She can space her races. You can do whatever you like with her really.”
Bowman is still considering an appeal against his New Zealand suspension in a last ditch effort to ride Winx in the Apollo Stakes.
“If we think our case is strong enough to get the reduction we’ll certainly go over to New Zealand to have that case heard,” Bowman told The Daily Telegraph.
“We’ll canvas our options. We haven’t made a firm decision on that at this stage.”
Waller has several options in mind if he and Winx’s connections decide to miss the Apollo Stakes and wait for Bowman to be back in the saddle.
“When you have a horse like Winx we can take into consideration do we need to risk other jockeys riding,’’ Waller said.
“There’s lots of options. We don’t want to make things too difficult.’’
“Going to Melbourne for the Futurity (on February 24) is a possibility, it’s unlikely but a possibility. We could go first-up in the Chipping Norton, of course the Apollo with a different rider if required.”
The Group 1 $500,000 italktravel Futurity Stakes (1400m) is run at Caulfield on February 24 while the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) is the the following week at Randwick.
Winx was spelled after her history making win in the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate which was her twenty-second consecutive win and took her overall record to twenty-six wins from thirty-two starts and lifted her prizemoney earnings to $15,627,925.