Having wrapped up his carnival in Sydney with a Group One Flight Stakes victory on Montefilia, Hugh Bowman is confident he can make an immediate impact in Melbourne.
The top jockey was quick to snap up the Caulfield Guineas ride on regular mount King’s Legacy after Racing Victoria recently relaxed its COVID-19 protocols, making it easier for visiting interstate jockeys to head south.
He left Sydney by road on Sunday and will spend five days in quarantine before emerging to ride at the rich Caulfield Guineas meeting on Saturday.
Bowman won two Group One races aboard the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained colt in the autumn and partnered him into third behind Ole Kirk and North Pacific in the Golden Rose.
He has been thrilled with his lead up form and regards him as a live Guineas chance.
“I thought his Golden Rose run was as good as the winner and the second horse and he will improve from it,” Bowman said.
Caulfield can be a difficult track for horses to handle at their first attempt and compounding the issue is the three-year-old’s inexperience racing anti-clockwise.
However, Bowman has more confidence in King’s Legacy coping than he did in Press Statement, who gave him his first Guineas win five years ago.
“He is very good on his feet, so I don’t see going the other way as problematic,” Bowman said.
“It might be, but it’s not a worry for me going into it whereas, if I was on a horse that had a bigger, more loafy stride, like Press Statement for instance when he won, I would probably be a bit more cautious.
“I am pretty confident that if I get the right run, the track’s not going to pose a problem to him.”
Bowman’s decision to base himself in Melbourne for the rest of the carnival has ruled him out of the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) mount on Montefilia.
Trainer David Payne announced his intention to back up the Flight Stakes winner at Randwick provided she does well through the week.
Bowman has no doubt the filly will relish stepping up in journey from a mile and can give the colts and geldings a run for their money.
“David’s always got one in the wings and when he’s got the right one he brings it along to perform at this level,” Bowman said.
“I think she is more of a 2000 plus horse than a miler. She was aided by a pretty fast run race (in the Flight) and she is a progressive type.”
Along with King’s Legacy in the $2 million Guineas, Bowman’s Caulfield rides include Sydney sprinter Splintex in the Schillaci Stakes.