Hugh’s spring bounce

Sunday Herald Sun - - On The Punt - MICHAEL MANLEY michael.manley@news.com.au

LAST spring there was crit­i­cism that Hugh Bow­man had his eyes off the ball in Mel­bourne but the Syd­ney star has taken all be­fore him this year.

This spring, it’s a much more re­laxed Bow­man and it’s show­ing in re­sults — even aside from Winx.

At The Val­ley, he only had seven rides for the car­ni­val and won three races, in­clud­ing the Cox Plate and the Manikato Stakes.

Yes­ter­day, Bow­man started the day on fire, win­ning two of the first three events for James Cum­mings and Godol­phin.

The first was in the Car­bine Club Stakes on Ranier and two races later Bow­man came home strongly to win the TAB Stakes on Os­borne Bulls.

Bow­man ad­mit­ted last year he had rid­den cau­tiously be­cause of a fear of be­ing sus­pended and miss­ing out on rid­ing Winx.

Bow­man has a huge opin­ion of Os­borne Bulls and on pulling up de­clared him as a su­per­star.

“He was the best horse in the race and I thought he was my best ride for the day, to be hon­est,” Bow­man said.

“His work here on Tues­day morn­ing was ex­tra­or­di­nary.

“I don’t look at breed­ing too much, but when I looked and I saw that he was by Street Cry, it brought a smile to my face. ” Street Cry is also the sire of Winx. Cum­mings said he would de­cide early in the week whether Os­borne Bulls, who has now won nine of 14 starts, would con­test the VRC Sprint on Satur­day.

He also said he would con­sider start­ing him in the Al Quoz Sprint at Dubai next March.

“He’s a su­per horse, Os­borne Bulls,” Cum­mings said.

“The start to life that he had, the sup­port, and all of the ve­teri­nary at­ten­tion that he had, it was amaz­ing to be able to train him for 12 months and then to be put back in and still need an­other three.

“He still man­aged to get to the races for us as a late three-year-old and win his maiden. Hasn’t he just shot through the ranks to be a star in his own right?

“You come here with the con­fi­dence of hav­ing had The Ever­est form com­ing into it, but he had to lump the 59 ki­los, he had never been up the straight be­fore.”

Bow­man said he gave Cum­mings the wrong steer when he told him Ranier should be kept to sprint trips.

Cum­mings ig­nored Bow­man’s ad­vice and was glad he did.

Cum­mings said that he was keen to try him over 1600m as it opened up a lot more op­tions, in­clud­ing the Aus­tralian Guineas over the same track and dis­tance on March 3.

Pic­ture: NI­COLE GARM­STON

Hugh Bow­man bat­tles to vic­tory aboard Ranier from Dwayne Dunn on Wild Planet.

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