Horse Racing
Hugh Bowman’s out to maintain the momentum ahead of LONGINES HKIR

By Declan Schuster
29/11/2022 13:08

Hugh Bowman returns after winning aboard Solar Winds at Sha Tin on Sunday (27 November).
Hugh Bowman returns after winning aboard Solar Winds at Sha Tin on Sunday (27 November).

Hugh Bowman is a man in form and in demand and he heads to Happy Valley’s eight-race fixture on Wednesday night (30 November) armed with another full book of rides as the HK$110 million LONGINES Hong Kong International Races edge ever so close.  

Bowman has bagged four wins from three race meetings since his short-term stint started – all from just 23 rides at a remarkable 17.4% winning strike rate with earnings of HK$6.012 million for connections.

“I’m fortunately getting a wide range of support from the trainers, so that is important but it’s been a really smooth start to the stint and hopefully it continues,” Bowman said.

No stranger to success in Hong Kong, Bowman is a two-time BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) winning rider atop Werther (2016) and Furore (2019). His partnership with Werther led to three Group 1 wins, while he relished another aboard Lucky Bubbles.

Overall, the Australian – best known for partnering Winx throughout the majority of her career in Australia – has 33 wins in Hong Kong and has picked up a pair of rides at the upcoming LONGINES Hong Kong International Races on Sunday, 11 December.

Bowman will ride Beauty Joy in the HK$30 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m) after the 119-rater finished seventh last start in the G2 BOCHK Jockey Club Cup (2000m) behind Romantic Warrior.

“I think back to the mile for him (Beauty Joy) is going to be the key. I wouldn’t think he’s probably a winning chance but he’s a genuine each way chance or to finish inside the top four – with a good draw,” Bowman said.

Hugh Bowman celebrates winning the 2017 G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) aboard Werther.
Hugh Bowman celebrates winning the 2017 G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) aboard Werther.

Beauty Joy is a two-time Group 3 winner in Hong Kong from 12 starts. He raced as Talladega in Australia where he was unbeaten across four outings at Ascot and Narrogin.

“What he wants is a good mile pace, he’s obviously got talent but he is quirky, so he’s going to need things to go his way. I’m looking forward to riding him for Tony Cruz,” Bowman said.

Bowman also links with Tourbillon Diamond in the HK$34 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m) for trainer Danny Shum.

“You know what you’re going to get with him – he’s a very consistent horse and if he can get the right run and the right speed then he might be a squeak of running in the top four,” Bowman said.

Tomorrow night, Bowman closes out his book of rides at Happy Valley aboard Nearly Fine in the HK$1.9 million Class 3 Isle Of Skye Handicap (1800m).

“It does (appear suitable returning to 1800m) and he’s in superb form this season. He’s been around the money in every one of his starts and this time back to 1800 metres at Happy Valley where he has superb form, it’s pretty ideal,” Bowman said.

Nearly Fine will step away from gate 10 tomorrow night in search of a third win this campaign. Prior to his pairing with the grey, Bowman gets the leg-up on Handsome Bo Bo in the HK$2.64 million Class 2 Glasgow Handicap (1200m).

“He does, too (get a chance), I’ve got a nice book of rides again and these two (Nearly Fine and Handsome Bo Bo) look to be up among the better ones. Handsome Bo Bo is consistent, he’s racing well and he should make his presence felt on recent form,” Bowman said.

Bowman will also ride Carry The Diamond, Compassion Super, Kungfumaster Panda, Flying Silver, Flaming Passion and Special M.

Golden Sixty’s in good order for LONGINES Hong Kong Mile

Golden Sixty stepped out for his first gallop following his first-up win in the HK$5 Million G2 BOCHK Private Wealth Jockey Club Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin this morning (Tuesday, 29 November) – much to the satisfaction of trainer Francis Lui.

“He had his first gallop after the race this morning, on the dirt under the riding boy. He seems ok, the (riding) boy was happy afterwards. He’ll go on the grass next Tuesday (6 December),” Lui said.

Golden Sixty will be chanced at joining Good Ba Ba as the only three-time winners of next month’s HK$30 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m) on Sunday, 11 December.

“Everything is all good, it’ll be a good race. The Japanese are here and they are competitive,” Lui said.

Golden Sixty will face the likes of California Spangle, Schnell Meister, Salios, Waikuku and Danon Scorpion in the LONGINES Hong Kong Mile. 

Happy Valley’s midweek fixture (Wednesday, 30 November) kicks off at 7.15pm with the Class 5 Bellahouston Handicap (1000m).