|Thursday, August 18, 2016||Contact: Andrew Chesser|
|Jockey Hugh Bowman: Winx, Werther, and the International Stage|
Australia’s Winx, who is scheduled to start her spring campaign in Saturday’s Warwick Stakes (G2), is riding a nine race winning streak. A man with a unique perspective into the star mare is her regular jockey Hugh Bowman, who has piloted Winx to victory in some of her most memorable performances.
“I feel a high level of responsibility when I ride Winx,” said Bowman. “However, I don't feel the pressure of the winning streak. I just try to make sure I don't set her an impossible task, and I know I can rely on her to produce her best.”
Bowman is currently sitting third in the Longines World’s Best Jockey competition behind Ryan Moore and Christophe Soumillon. In addition to riding Winx, who is the third highest rated horse in the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, Bowman is also the rider for Werther, who is co-fifth in the rankings.
“Winx and Werther are similar in that they perform at their best over 1,600-2,000 metres in my opinion,” said Bowman. “Werther is a stronger horse than Winx and has really matured physically in the time that I've been riding him. However, he is not as adaptable as Winx, in that he needs circumstances to go his way to see his best. She has the ability to adapt to any situation.”
Both horses have provided Bowman with career milestones in a relatively short span of time. There is a chance that this October Winx and Werther will line up against each other in the William Hill Cox Plate (G1), which would mean Bowman would have to make a tough decision, especially as he and Winx won the race last year.
“The highlights would have to be winning the Cox Plate and Doncaster Mile on Winx, along with the Hong Kong Derby and QEII Cup on Werther,” said Bowman. “The Cox Plate was my first major Group 1 winner, and Werther provided me with my first Group 1 winner outside of Australia.
“I understand Werther has officially been invited to run in the Cox Plate, but at this stage of the season I'm just concerned about the welfare of both he and Winx. I'm hoping they both can race through the whole season at the level they have this year, and if the pair do clash I will have to decide at the time.”
Bowman has also ridden Winx to victory in such Group 1s as the China Horse Club George Ryder Stakes, Precise Air Chipping Norton Stakes, The Star 150th Epsom, and Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks, while he and Werther just missed winning the Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (G1) by a head.
The 36-year-old jockey is based in his native Australia but started riding internationally recently, which is how he was partnered with the New Zealand-bred but Hong Kong-based Werther.
“My decision to ride in Japan stemmed from a successful stint there at the end of 2015, and then I was drawn to Hong Kong to ride Werther,” said Bowman. “The John Moore stable has supported me well, along with other Hong Kong trainers. My reason for exploring my opportunities in these jurisdictions is really to try and get the best out of myself, and I like to capitalize on any opportunities afforded to me. Also, I love the chance to see how different countries train and race their horses.”
As one of Australia’s premier jockeys, Bowman is grateful for the opportunities his success has given him, but it is not without its challenges. However, he continues to look to the future both at home and abroad.
“For me the best part about what I do is the fortunate position I'm in to partner some of the best horses in Australia and the world,” said Bowman. “The hardest part is the weight management. I find it a constant battle and can be extremely mentally tiring at times. It's lovely to be recognized as a jockey on the international stage. However, really I just want to take advantage of the opportunities I'm given, ride every race the best I can, and hope to be safe.”
Story provided by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA); Authored by Amanda Duckworth.
About the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA):
The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) is the world peak body for the international sport of Thoroughbred racing. Its 60 members are the national racing authorities across the globe which stage Thoroughbred races.
Major areas of the IFHA’s activities include:
• Policy development relating to welfare and safety of horses and riders
• International Race Planning and Grading (“black type”)
• World Rankings
• Equine Prohibited Substances and Practices
• Harmonization of Race Day Rules
• Fostering commercial development of the racing industry globally
The IFHA is a foundation member with Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) of the International Horse Sports Confederation and is affiliated to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
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