Randwick races: Hugh Bowman has magic Group 1 mark in sight

Champion jockey Hugh Bowman can make a compelling case for his Group 1 rides, Kolding and Montefilia at Royal Randwick.

Bowman is banking on Kolding’s impressive record over the Randwick mile course – and the improving track conditions — going into the $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).

And the Hall of Fame jockey revealed top filly Montefilia, his ride in the $500,000 Surround Stakes (1400m), is one of the horses that excites him most going into the Sydney autumn carnival.

If Bowman can win on one or both his big-race rides, it will move him closer to his career goal of riding 100 Group 1 winners.

Hugh Bowman will reunite with Flight Stakes winner Montefilia in the Group 1 Surround Stakes. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Bowman goes to Randwick with 97 Group 1 wins (92 on Australian racetracks) and is hopeful of soon joining the elite group of jockeys that have ridden a century or more major races winners that includes Damien Oliver, George Moore and Jim Cassidy.

Kolding has been specifically aimed at the Chipping Norton Stakes by trainer Chris Waller, who has given the gelding two runs from a spell for successive seconds in the Expressway Stakes and Apollo Stakes.

When Kolding scored his Group 1 wins in the 2019 Epsom Handicap and 2020 George Main Stakes, both over the Randwick 1600m trip, he was third-up into his race campaign, as he will be for the Chipping Norton Stakes.

“Kolding’s two runs back have been super,’’ Bowman said. “He worked well during the week and is in great order.’’

But Bowman doesn’t waste words. He conceded Kolding’s chance hinge on the Randwick track rating which was a soft 6 late yesterday but there was a forecast for some showers overnight.

“Kolding is not at his best in rain-affected conditions,’’ the Hall of Fame jockey said.

“I don’t think he will win on a wet track as those two mares will thrive in those conditions, Colette and Verry Elleegant. For him to win, they have to be off their top and he has to be at his top. But Kolding is going very well and that is all you can ask. If the weather doesn’t suit there is nothing we can do about that.’’

Kolding is ready to peak third-up in the Chipping Norton Stakes. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

If the track rating remains a soft 6 or even improves today, Kolding’s chances soar.

In overnight TAB Fixed Odds betting, Kolding was at $4.80 behind Verry Elleegant at $2.60 favouritism with Colette at $3.

Montefilia, winner of the Flight Stakes and Spring Champion Stakes at Group 1 level last spring, resumes in the Surround Stakes.

The David Payne-trained filly is at $11 in latest betting – generous odds particularly given Bowman’s lofty opinion of her.

“Six weeks ago Montefilia was the horse I was most excited about going into the autumn carnival. I’ve had a bit of luck since then so there are others in the mix,’’ Bowman said referring to the likes of Hobartville Stakes winner Aegon among others.

“But she has trialled very well in her first trial, I wasn’t here for her second trial but again she just went through her paces and looked good.

“She is a top class filly and I’m looking forward to riding her.’’

Bowman also covets a win in the Group 2 $200,000 Guy Walter Stakes (1200m) when he partners the Team Snowden-trained Reelem In Ruby.

The champion jockey rode his first Group 1 winner on the Walter-trained Defier in the 2004 Doomben Cup. Walter was only 59 when tragically passed away in 2014.

Reelem In Ruby resumed from a long spell with a competitive fourth behind Tailleur in the Triscay Stakes two weeks ago and is at $9.50 in latest betting for the Guy Walter Stakes.

“I haven’t had a lot to do with this mare but she has a very good record and I thought she went well first-up,’’ Bowman said. “It would mean a lot to me if I can win this race,’’ Bowman said.

Originally published asBowman eyes big double to edge closer to ton

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