Trainer Chris Waller has revealed that he is unhappy with the decision of Hugh Bowman to ride Criterion rather than Catkins in the 2015 Canterbury Stakes at Royal Randwick on March 7.
Bowman has developed a very successful partnership with Catkins and has recorded six wins on the talented mare, including both the Group 2 New South Wales Thoroughbred Breeders Classic (1200m) and the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) this preparation, but Waller confirmed in his weekly stable update that the leading hoop would stick with Australian Derby winner Criterion in the Canterbury Stakes.
Waller said that he understands why Bowman would want to continue his association with a horse that he has steered to two Group 1 victories, but he believes that the jockey has shown a lack of loyalty to the stable, owner and horse that have been very good to him.
“We ring up Hugh Bowman to ride Catkins and he is riding Criterion,” Bowman said.
“That is fair enough and Criterion is a really good horse that he has won a couple of Group 1s on, but from my perspective and from a team perspective we have more horses for Hugh Bowman to ride and he should show a little bit of loyalty to the owners, to our stable and Catkins.
“Who is Hugh Bowman riding in the Chipping Norton? Lucia Valentina.
“I’m not saying that he hasn’t done the right thing, but he is looking at individual rides rather than our whole team, which is fair enough.”
Waller has been adamant throughout his successful trainer career that he did not want to use a regular stable rider, unlike rival Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse, and he said yesterday that was unlikely to change in the future.
“Are we going to get a stable rider? No we are not,” Waller said.
“It would have to be a world class, elite rider that can ride the minimum weight and then they probably expect a retainer, but I don’t think that it is fair to charge your owner a retainer and those days are gone.”
Bowman has close to a full book of rides at Warwick Farm on Saturday, but only has one ride for the Waller camp in the form of Amicus in the Surround Stakes, while Waller will be using the services of Jason Collett, Glyn Schofield, Jim Cassidy, Blake Shinn, Brenton Avdulla, Tommy Berry, Christian Reith and Tye Angland across the meeting.