Sydney’s premiership winning jockey Hugh Bowman will travel to the Top End this weekend to take part in the 2015 Darwin Cup Carnival at Fannie Bay.
Bowman has accepted the invitation from close friend and race horse owner Mick Burns to partner his horses at the Darwin Turf Club’s showpiece carnival.
The Tony McEvoy trained Underestimation is Bowman’s mount in the feature race on Saturday, the $135,000 Palmerston Sprint (1200m) and he will be aboard Lightinthenite for local trainer Gary Clarke in the $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) on Monday.
This weekend’s visit to Darwin isn’t the first for Bowman who was there in 2010 and in 2001
“I was up there in 2010 and about 2001 and got on a few winners,’’ Bowman told the NT News.
“I’m on Tony McEvoy’s horse in the Sprint and Lightinthenite in the Cup, and they’re both good chances.’’
“Lightinthenite is certainly a chance and though I haven’t seen the other one in the Sprint, they’ve had the race pencilled in for quite some time.
“So I’m assuming Tony’s got the right type of horse for the 1200m journey and has him primed to go in the race.’’
“Burnsy is a good mate of mine and a part owner of both of them, so it will be good to win the Cup for my mate and the rest of them.’’
Burns said that Lightinthenite had been set for the Darwin Cup a while ago and is on target after winning the $55,000 Asian United Food Service Chief Minister’s Cup (1600m) at Fannie Bay on July 11.
“He’s getting a bit old and we knew he’d only have two races here — the Chief Ministers and the Cup, so hopefully he’ll deliver on Monday,’’ Burns said.
Burns is very happy to have lured Bowman to Darwin and is glad to give him a real chance of winning the Cup.
“He told me he’d love to ride for me in the Cup one year and it’s happened this year with Lightinthenite and that’s great,” Burns said.
“And he’s at the top of his game right now after winning nine Group 1 winners in the last year and the nearest rider to him is six.
“He’s a great bloke and a great jockey and I think it’s good for racing if we get people like that coming up to Darwin.
“There are a lot of southern racing people coming up and Hugh knows he’ll get some good old fashioned Territory hospitality while he’s here.’’
Underestimation was winner three starts back in a 1250m $50,000 Open Handicap at Morphettville on May 23.
The six year old has had two runs on the Fannie Bay sand track for two fifths over 1300m on June 27 and over 1200m on July 18.
Bowman has also picked up the ride on the Stephen Brown trained Brown Coal in $21,000 Elan Soho Suites Handicap (1600m) on Saturday.
In early betting for the Darwin Cup Ladbrokes.com.au have Lightinthenite the $3.60 favourite ahead of the Gai Waterhouse trained Travolta at $4.50 and last start Darwin winner Royal Request at $7.