Bow­man spell­bound

The Dominion Post - - Racing -

Hugh Bow­man had walked fair­ways for two days be­fore he was sup­posed to have a walk in the park. Golf was easy, win­ning a third Cox Plate on Winx was go­ing to be eas­ier.

Yet his face said any­thing but. Bow­man could be me­di­at­ing peace talks be­tween Don­ald Trump and Kim Jong-un and he still wouldn’t bat an eye­lid. There’s cool cats, then there’s Hugh Bow­man.

‘‘I’m lost for words,’’ Bow­man said.

‘‘She’s made his­tory. I was born the year Kingston Town won his first Cox Plate and to think she’s em­u­lated the great … try­ing to com­pare one horse to an­other, they’re all dif­fer­ent an­i­mals at the end of the day.

"But we are in the pres­ence of great­ness. She’ll be recog­nised as one of the great­est horses to grace the Aus­tralian turf.’’

Bow­man, him­self, per­haps one of the great­est jock­eys of the Aus­tralian turf. It was Bow­man’s 70th Group 1 in Aus­tralia, none had meant more as Winx em­u­lated Kingston Town’s record of three Cox Plates.

He has ex­actly 50 more to go be­fore sur­pass­ing the great Ge­orge Moore. As Winx shim­mied out onto the track with Bow­man on top in front of a rau­cous Moonee Val­ley crowd, the jockey’s breeches told the tale. There were two cir­cu­lar fig­ures on the side, one with a 15 inside and the other 16. It sig­nalled Winx’s pre­vi­ous Cox Plate wins. Just above his boots he car­ries his daugh­ters’ names, Bambi on one side and Paige on the other. Wife Chris­tine com­pletes Bow­man’s all-fe­male tri­fecta at home. Then there’s Winx.

‘‘As a rac­ing lover, as an an­i­mal lover, I get great sat­is­fac­tion watch­ing any good horse, or ex­cep­tional horse and this thor­ough­bred has brought so much joy to my life, my fam­ily’s life and I know ev­ery­body is very proud of what we’ve achieved to­gether,’’ he said.

The em­broi­derer was on standby ready to make a third with 17. But some­one for­got to tell Blake Shinn, a sad­dle wiz­ard for a day. He had al­ready won four races on the pro­gram and was once man­aged in the same in­ter­ests as Bow­man, who re­lies on Bryan Hask­ins to pull the strings be­hind the scenes.

As the Shinn-pi­loted Hu­mi­dor roared out of the pack and laid down a chal­lenge to the great mare, Bow­man needed all of his guile to urge Winx home to win by a long neck. He only tapped her once with the whip.

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

Hugh Bow­man cel­e­brates with Winx’s own­ers af­ter her third Cox Plate tri­umph.

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