Leading jockey Hugh Bowman has picked up the ride on Arabian Gold in the 2013 Crown Oaks and he is confident that the class filly can give him his second Group 1 victory in less than a week.
Peter Robl has ridden Arabian Gold in her past five starts but will miss Crown Oaks Day after being suspended for careless riding on Thunder Fantasy in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday – a race that was won by Bowman on Polanski.
Bowman only picked up the ride on Polanski after regular jockey Dean Yendall missed the ride in the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) due to suspension and now has the opportunity to become the first jockey since Jim Cassidy in 1987 to win the Victoria Derby and Crown Oaks in the same year on another pick-up ride.
Arabian Gold finished fourth behind Kirramosa in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) but Bowman suggested that the Dubawi filly race home stronger than the result suggests.
“It’s interesting how things can work out,” Bowman told AAP.
“There’s probably a little query on the 2500 metre distance but she was still strong at the end of the 2000 in the Wakeful Stakes.”
Arabian Gold has raced consistently during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and was competitive against champion filly Guelph in Sydney; finishing second in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) and fourth in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m).
She made her Melbourne debut with a strong win over Solicit and Refer in the Listed Ethereal Stakes (2000m) and Bowman believes that the Crown Oaks lead-up form of Arabian Gold is comparable to any other horse in the field.
“If you take a line through her form all preparation she’s been racing at a higher level than the rest of the field,” Bowman said.
“She’s proven at the level, but not proven at the distance, but neither is anything else in the race.”
Arabian Gold is on the fifth line of 2013 Crown Oaks betting markets, behind clear favourite Kirramosa, at odds of $12 but Bowman is confident that the three-year-old is a much better chance than her odds suggest.
“She has an excellent chance, drawn barrier one and will be hard to beat from there,” Bowman said.
Bowman is chasing his second win in the Crown Oaks after winning the 2008 edition of the race with Samantha Miss.