Hugh Bowman will be gunning for back-to-back Randwick Guineas wins in 2016 but whether that is aboard Press Statement or Pride Of Dubai is the tough call the star hoop faces this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Both Group 1 winners, the Chris Waller-trained Press Statement and Pride Of Dubai for Peter & Paul Snowden had bowman aboard for their latest top level wins.
Bowman guided Hinchinbrook colt Press Statement home for his fifth win from seven starts in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) over the mile on October 10 last spring.
He overcame a nasty barrier 14 of 16 draw for the one and three quarter length success, the young horse’s second in elite level company following his success as a two-year-old in the Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) at Doomben with Tye Angland aboard last June.
As for Pride Of Dubai, the star son of Street Colt became a dual top level champ at just his fifth start last April when Bowman rode him for a three-quarter length win in Randwick’s Group 1 ATC Inglis Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
The colt’s first major turf triumph was in last autumn’s Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) with Damian Browne in the saddle.
Bowman is predicting both star colts to head towards a highly anticipated clash in the $1 million Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) on Saturday March 5 and he is delaying his decision on which mount to take.
“I suppose the (Randwick) Guineas is on the radar for both of them, certainly Press Statement, but Pride Of Dubai, we’ll just take him a run at a time,” Bowman told Racing Victoria ahead of his weekend trip overseas to partner Werther in the Hong Kong Classic Mile at Sha Tin.
“He (Pride Of Dubai) might not be a miler. Press Statement, obviously he is but the other horse, I don’t know.
“All I can do is make the call when I have to. The reality is, that’s probably going to happen but hopefully not.”
Last season Bowman rode his first Randwick Guineas winner guiding the Bart & James Cummings-trained Hallowed Crown to victory on the back of the colt’s win in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill.
Despite concerns of how Pride Of Dubai will see out a mile, the $1.33 million earner only tested up to 1400m to date, Bowman was full of praise regarding the horse’s potential.
After suffering bone bruising during his Sires’ Produce triumph, Pride Of Dubai won an 838m Randwick trial on January 12 with Brenton Avdulla aboard in a promising sign ahead of his return.
Bowman then partnered him for a strong piece of work and is pleased with his progress.
“He feels good,” he said. “He’ll trial again on Monday to get ready for his first-up run.
“It’s quite likely the Expressway Stakes next weekend but that’s not in concrete.”
The weight-for-age $200,000 Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) runs at Rosehill Gardens on January 30 while the next Guineas lead-up, the $200,000 Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (14000m), takes place at the same track on February 20.
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