Jet setter: Hugh Bowman is off to Hong Kong. Photo: Vince CaligiuriHugh Bowman will fly to Hong Kong on Saturday night after riding at Randwick to reunite with Werther in Sunday’s Classic Mile at Sha Tin.
Bowman has built an international profile over the past couple of years as he has risen to become Australia’s No.1 jockey but it is a balancing act when it comes to home and away.
“He is a good horse and it will be like Helene Happy Star last year, I [am] looking forward to riding him through to the Derby,” Bowman said. “I have ridden a bit for John Moore and the owners and they wanted me to stick with him. It is a great opportunity, but I’m mindful of that here is home.”
It is a growing trend for Australia’s best jockeys to fly in and out for major rides around the world and while Bowman is on show in Hong Kong, there are a half dozen Australians riding in Sunday’s Karaka Millions meeting in New Zealand, including Blake Shinn, Damian Browne, Jason Collett and Michelle Payne.
Bowman is still looking for his first group 1 away from Australia but will have a great chance in the next fortnight with Werther and classy sprinter Not Listenin’tome, which he wil ride the following Sunday.
Werther won his only Hong Kong start, under Bowman’s guidance, on International day in December at the mile, after being runner-up in the Queensland and South Australian Derbies and winning a group 2 weight-for-age race in Australia.
It is a great chance for Bowman, who is also hoping to also expand on his Japan experience of late last year and perhaps get back on Hartley, on which he won a group 2 over there and he rates one of the best juveniles he has ridden.
But it won’t be at the expense of his rides at home, where he has the call on Winx and Press Statement in what could be an exciting autumn.
“I have this platform [internationally] and I want to use it,” Bowman said. “It is something I was thinking about five years ago and I went to Hong Kong two years and Japan to make the effort to build a platform. It is something I want to use.
“But here is home and I give it priority. There are great opportunities coming up [in the autumn].”
Bowman will miss Monday’s barrier trials at Warwick Farm as he returns from Hong Kong but as he puts it you can’t be everywhere. He has a handy book of rides at Randwick, starting with Sooboog, two-year-old Prized Icon and You’ll Never in the Carrington Stakes.
“It is one of those days where I go to the races with plenty of chances and want to keep the best possible rides,” Bowman said. “You’ll Never is first-up at the 1400m but he has been a nice horse at the level.”
Although it is the calm before the storm of the superstars that are coming for Bowman and premier trainer Chris Waller, a horse like You’ll Never has his place.
“They are important, those type of horses,” Waller said. “It’s just not all about group races.”
He has earned almost $500,000, typical of Waller being able to get the most out of his stock and he is not ruling out a win at his return.
“He races well first-up and he looks fit,” Waller said. “He normally races a bit heavier but actually on the scales he’s not big and heavy so hopefully that’s a positive.”
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