The band of Hugh Bowman and Chris Waller was back together for one day only at Rosehill on Saturday.
The result should have been expected – three winners – Foxplay, Dinghu Mountain and Avonaco.
It had been a couple of months since Bowman had been in Sydney on Saturday, a contract in Japan, with Hong Kong sojourns to win on Werther, and the Brisbane carnival commanding his attention.
“It is good in a way that he goes away because it gives you an appreciation of how good he is,” Waller said. “You get to use other jockeys and see what they can do and how differently they ride.
“They all do a good job but with Hugh you know what you are going to get and it gives you confidence.
“He’s just one jockey who won’t stop until he’s the complete package. He’s still improving, he’s still bettering himself and going on overseas trips and learning. We could all take something from Hugh and his attitude towards racing.”
It was a great show by Bowman, who will be in Brisbane to ride Danish Twist in the Tatts Tiara next week before a well-deserved holiday.
Bowman makes more right decisions than most and his ride to win on Dinghu Mountain to deny former jockey Mark Newnham a first winner as a trainer with Lanciato was a beauty. He came from well back in the field through the centre and at the 100 metres switched over Lanciato to beat him.
Waller gave him in a big rap after he came down the outside to win on Avonaco. “He was in the zone with 350m to run, he was just a man possessed,” Waller said. “He was talking to me the other day about Japan and how quickly things can change over there, and he said he learnt a lot in the short time he was there, so for the leader of the field to admit ‘I’m still learning’, it’s pretty good to have a jockey like Hugh aboard.”
It was Bowman’s 99th winner for the season around the world. Remarkably 46 have been on Waller-trained horses, with the pair also combining for nine group 1 wins.
Waller’s day was not finished with the Bowman treble, the premier trainer added another winner when Vassal just held off Olympic Academy. It leaves him within sight of his Sydney record of 167 wins for a season as he sits on 155 wins.
“The record is not an important goal but it is a target,” Waller said. “And it’s not something we are going to do in the last couple of weeks.
“It’s something you have to do in the first two months of the season to lay the foundation for 52 weeks of the year.”
It gave prominent owners Frank and Christine Cook a winning double after they were a part of the Foxplay ownership. – Chris Roots.