Leading jockey Hugh Bowman is set to head to Japan for a six week stint this evening and he is delighted to receive the opportunity to ride in another racing jurisdiction.
Bowman went to Hong Kong for a three month stint after the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival last year and he rode well without a great deal of luck, but he has never previously ridden in Japan.
The Cox Plate winning hoop said that he has always taken a great deal of benefit from his previous experience riding overseas and he told Sky Racing HQ this morning that he was thrilled to receive the chance to ride in the unique arena that is Japanese racing.
“As I have had more international experience, Japan has been a place that I had hoped one day to go to,” Bowman said.
“There was an opportunity to go earlier in the year, but it just didn’t really fit.
“I have never been to Japan, so I am covering new ground.
“The racing there is obviously pretty good, the horses wherever you see them around the world they compete at the highest level and I have a lot of respect for their industry.
“A lot of their race are over distances and I am looking forward to riding in a lot of distances races, but it is hard to get a guide watching them against themselves until you see them race on the international stages.
“I am really looking forward to learning more about it.
“I am hoping that I have the success that I have had in other areas.”
Bowman will join fellow Sydney-based hoop Tommy Berry in Japan, but they will both be working with separate trainers, with Bowman set to link with leading trainer Yasutoshi Ikee.
Zac Purton was originally offered the six week riding contract, but was forced to decline due to his ridding commitments in Hong Kong and Bowman was quick to pay credit to his rival hoop for putting in the good word.
“I am linking with a trainer – Mr Ikee,” Bowman said.
“Zac Purton has a connection there, but he was unable to commit to it at this time of year because of Hong Kong.
“They wanted a top Australian jockey instead of him and Zac was kind enough to recommend myself as he did earlier in the year.
“I will be riding for the trainer that he rode for.
“I won’t be based in the same area as Tommy Berry, but I understand I will be riding against him on the weekends.”
Bowman is set to head to Hong Kong for Hong Kong International Raceday on December 13 and he will then head to Ireland for a holiday before he returns to Australian racing towards the end of January.