Hugh Bowman threw down the gauntlet to rival jockeys James McDonald and Blake Shinn when he surged to the lead in the Sydney jockey’s premiership with four winners at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
Bowman’s quartet of winners took him to ninety-two wins for the 2014 – 2015 racing season, one and a half ahead of both McDonald and Shinn who are on ninety and a half wins each.
Bowman was the star of the show at Warwick Farm riding more than half the card on the seven race program and he was quick to start off proceedings with a win in the first on Wudang Mountain for Sydneys’ premiership winning trainer Chris Waller.
The second race on the program provided Bowman with his second winner for the day on Kanji for Warwick Farm trainer Joe Pride but Shinn was back in the winner’s stall in the next on Kanji’s stablemate Painte with Bowman not having a mount.
Bowman then missed a place on the Kris Lees trained Eventide but made amends in race 5 with a win on Lord Leofric for David Pfieffer before riding his fourth winner for the day and a double for Waller on Defrost My Heart.
The in-form hoop then missed the place for the second time for the day when fourth on the Pride trained Hypernicus who was sent out the $3.50 favourite.
“I thought I could ride seven until I got here and had a scratching in race three,” Bowman said.
“I came here today with a nice book but you need horses who can cope on the (heavy) ground.
“I had horses who had been racing well and they’ve come here and won.”
But Bowman knows that the pendulum can quickly swing the other way and there are still two meetings to go at Canterbury on Saturday and next Wednesday before the title is decided.
“Someone asked me how I went last Saturday in regards to winning the premiership,” Bowman said.
“I told them I had a lot of pars when I needed birdies. Today (Wednesday) I got the birdies and probably only need pars to hold the lead.”
“Blake and James are more than capable of riding four winners in a day and if any of us do that in the remaining two meetings, they’ll probably be the winner.”
“If I can bag an early winner on Saturday, it’ll certainly turn the pressure up on the boys. We mightn’t have the cream of the crop as far as horses racing at the moment but the quality of riding is as good as you’ll see.”
Bowman had already taken the honours for the most Group 1 races won during the racing year with nine, three ahead of McDonald on six with Shinn riding five.
Bowman’s full book of eight rides at Canterbury on Saturday are listed below.
Race 1 – McGrath Estate Agents Handicap (1250m) – Tatoosh (Paul Perry).
Race 2 – Two Year Old Handicap (1550m) – I Bought A Horse (John McArdie).
Race 3 – More Than Ready @ Vinery Handicap (1900m) – Beyond Thankful (Chris Waller).
Race 4 – The July Sprint (1100m) – Zaratone (Bjorn Baker).
Race 5 – Bledisloe Cup Festival Handicap (1250m) – Burnt Bridges (Kris Lees).
Race 6 – TAB Rewards Handicap (1250m) – Coolring (Bjorn Baker).
Race 7 – Jimmy Wood Memorial Handicap (1100m) – Hard To Hold (Bjorn Baker).
Race 8 – BenchMark 84 Handicap (1550m) – Great Esteem (Peter and Paul Snowden).