Bowman slips back into the groove on Winx
RACING'S great partnership, Hugh Bowman and Winx, is back.
Just before sunrise at Rosehill Gardens trackwork yesterday morning, Hugh Bowman rode Winx in a steady gallop, the first time he has been in the saddle for 10 days.
Trainer Chris Waller was a relieved man. He's got the band back together again.
Bowman has been under a fitness cloud since suffering concussion after being thrown from Performer during the Todman Stakes at Randwick on March 10.
The champion jockey gained a medical clearance to resume riding on Monday and climbed aboard Winx for yesterday's important track gallop in preparation for the Group 1 $1 million The Agency George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Bowman and Winx work in unison, they are like poetry in motion, as the mare completes her morning exercise at a steady gallop.
"Winx is going so well,'' Bowman said in an ominous warning to Ryder rivals.
"I think she has come on since her last race.''
The Winx gallop was the first time Bowman had ridden a horse since the accident. He then rode in a couple of barrier trials to prove his fitness for a race riding comeback at Newcastle tomorrow. "I'm all systems go,'' he said.
With Winx aiming for a world record 17th Group 1 win on Saturday, moving past the standard set by American champion John Henry in 1984, The Daily Telegraph understands Australian Turf Club officials and the mare's owners are negotiating to name a race in her honour next season.
ATC officials would not comment on the issue on Tuesday but it is believed the Warwick Stakes, run over 1400m at Randwick in August, will be elevated to Group 1 levels this year and will be renamed the Winx Warwick Stakes.
Winx has won the last three Warwick Stakes including her heart-stopping effort to recover from a poor start and run down Foxplay in the final few bounds last August.
Bowman plans to return to Rosehill trackwork on Thursday morning to put Waller's Golden Slipper hopeful, Performer through his paces.
"I am looking forward to it, believe it or not,'' Bowman said of riding Performer again in the Golden Slipper. "It's seems to have been a freak thing (last start), he's obviously reacted to something but he's trialled well since so we will get on with it.''
Waller said Performer will wear blinkers in Thursday's gallop and also in the Golden Slipper.