The international raiders targeting the 2011 Melbourne Cup may receive a boost in the form of local jockey Hugh Bowman.
Bowman, who was unable to secure a ride in last year’s Melbourne Cup, has been riding in England for the past month and half and he is now hoping that the relationships he has built while on the working holiday will help land a ride on one of the international horses in this year’s Melbourne Cup.
“It’s nice to get to know trainers like Luca (Cumani) and Ed (Dunlop) and good to have that opportunity to ride work for work for them. And you never know what it might lead to in the spring,” Bowman said.
“I’ve ridden half a dozen winners so I haven’t won as many races as last time, but I’ve restricted myself to the better quality races.”
Bowman has mainly been riding for English trainer Mick Channon, and while he does not look like he is going to bring horses out to Australia, Ed Dunlop and Luca Cumani will more than likely target the 2011 Melbourne Cup.
Ed Dunlop has indicated that he is considering bringing talented galloper Red Cadeaux to Australia for a tilt at the feature races during the Melbourne spring carnival, while Luca Cumani has nominated a host of horses for the Caulfield Cup, indicating he may be ready for one of his biggest cups raids yet.
Cumani has nominated 2008 Melbourne Cup runner up Bauer for the Caulfield Cup, in a sign that the horse that was pipped at the post by Viewed in the 08 Cup may be back to somewhere near his best after suffering a long injury layoff. Cumani has also indicated that Drunken Sailor may again come to Australia. Drunken Sailor was being aimed at the Melbourne Cup last year, but after being scratched form the Caulfield Cup and finishing down the straight in the Geelong Cup, he failed to make the field. However he has won two of this last three starts in the UK, and if he can bring that form to Australia there is little doubt Bowman would be keen to jump aboard.
Cumani has also nominated Manighar, Never Forget and Sahara Sun for the Caulfield Cup, indicating that he will chase that elusive Melbourne spring carnival success even harder this year.
While Bowman is keen to land a ride on one of the top internationals he has not neglected to follow what has been happening in Sydney.
“I’ve been looking up the Sydney results and the acceptances while I’ve been over here to keep up with what’s going on back home,” he said.
“Chris Waller is obviously continuing to do really well and a lot of good horses are back in work and getting up to trial stage.”
Bowman has one more major engagement in England before he returns to Australia – The Shergar Cup. Bowman will be a part of the international jockey team that will take on a teams of jockeys from England, Ireland and Europe.
Bowman will be joined on the rest of the world team by Hong Kong’s Douglas Whyte and Japan’s Yutaka Take.
In 2007, during Bowman’s last stint in the UK, he took out the Silver Saddle, as the best performed jockey at the prestigious teams event.