Sydney’s high profile jockey Hugh Bowman came notoriously close to losing the mount on Winx in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on February 25 after being suspended at Randwick on Wednesday.
Racing New South Wales stewards found Bowman guilty of not riding his mount, Realise Potential, right out to the line when the Joe Pride trained gelding dead heated for second in the last race on the eight event program.
Bowman was also fined $1000 and his suspension will commence on Monday, February 20, 2017 and expire in time for him to ride on Saturday, February 25, Chipping Norton Stakes Day.
Bowman pleaded not guilty to the charge but he was lucky the suspension was not longer after he was charged for the same offence a month ago and fined $600 even though on that occasion his mount Olympic Academy was able to hang on and win.
Acting chief steward Ray Livingstone appeared to be lenient with Bowman after telling the jockey that he had been found guilty for several other offences over the last twelve months.
“Your record is not a good one and there is a number of offences in the last twelve months to which you have pleaded not guilty to which of course is your right,” Livingstone said at the inquiry.
“We look at the circumstances of the case … your actions certainly compromise your chances of running second outright.
“We say it should be an easy rule to adhere to.
“Ride them right out to the line and put it beyond doubt.”
Bowman told steward that his intensity on Realise Potential might have dropped approaching the winning post but he said he definitely didn’t stop riding.
“Certainly my vigour desisted but I didn’t feel as though I stopped riding,” Bowman told stewards.
Bowman has created a great affiliation with the Chris Waller trained Winx and he rode the super mare to her fourteenth straight win when she resumed for the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival with an easy win in the Group 2 $250,000 The Star Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick last Monday.
After running in the Chipping Norton Stakes, Winx will head to the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 18 then onto the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 8, day two of ‘The Championships’.
Bowman has been aboard Winx for eleven of those fourteen consecutive wins as well as winning on her in the 2014 Group 2 $175,000 Coolmore Furious Stakes (1200m) at Randwick and in the Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben during the 2015 Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Included in Winx and Bowman’s winning run were two successive victories in the 2015 and 2016 Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
In early betting for the 2017 Cox Plate Winx is the $2.50 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au.