Jockey Hugh Bowman is hoping to collect some belated Spring Carinval riches on Set Square, a filly he describes as ticking all the boxes for the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington today.
Bowman’s start to competing at the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival was delayed because of an improper riding suspension he received on Caulfield Cup Day and the top Sydney rider missed out on the winning ride on Preferment in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington last Saturday.
Bowman rode without success on Melbourne Cup day but is giving the Ciaron Maher trained Set Square a great chance of giving him his second win in the fillies classic today.
“I’ve ridden her twice; I rode her in a maiden gallop leading up to her win last-start and I went and worked her Saturday morning; she’s a real Oaks type, real staying pedigree and moves very well, so she ticks all the boxes,” Bowman told Racing.com.
“My filly has raced her way into the race and obviously she’s a late nomination, so she snuck in under the radar but she wouldn’t be there if she wasn’t up to it.”
Connections decided to pay the $55,000 last entry fee for the Crown Oaks after Set Square won the Listed $120,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 18 with Nicholas Hall aboard.
Bowman picked up the ride after Hall stuck with Lumosty after steering the Robert Smerdon trained filly to an impressive win in the Group 2 $200,000 Drummond Golf Fillies Classic (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.
Bowman is giving himself a good chance of winning his second Crown Oaks after collecting the trophy on Samantha Miss in 2008, but admits this year’s version has a very even bunch of fillies.
“It’s a hard race, there’s four or five genuine winning hopes this year, which is unusual, but it’s good to be on one of them,” Bowman said.
Set Square is listed among the main chances for the Crown Oaks with Ladbrokes.com.au and is marked at $7.50 alongside of last Saturday’s Wakeful Stakes winner Thunder Lady.
Lumosty, the $4.80 second favourite is the best of Smerdon’s three fillies, ahead of Crafty at $5 and his other runner Fontein Ruby at $15.
The Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas trained Go Indy Go has been well supported overnight and is now the $4.40 favourite while Abduction from the powerful Godolphin team is also well in contention at $8.