Bowman Takes Lead in Sydney Jockeys’ Premiership as Avdulla Watches
As the race for the Sydney Jockeys’ premiership hits the top of the straight, there was an unexpected development in the contest between Hugh Bowman and Brenton Avdulla.
Avdulla could do nothing but watch, as he is serving a suspension for careless riding, a turn of events that seemingly handed the premiership to Bowman.
The unexpected development, however, was a Bowman crash in the first race at Canterbury. Bowman was riding Chris Waller’s $180 favourite Metamorphic in the first race, when he went down on the soggy track.
Fortunately for Bowman, he was not hurt, and showed his true mettle by following the age-old advice about getting right back on again after falling off and scoring a double. He won on Waller’s horse Awoke, doing so from $4.80 and again on the Luke Pepper prepared Viceroy, the $3.20 favourite.
Bowman wound up the meeting with six rides for two wins, two seconds, one third and one fourth place finish.
Bowman has been on a tear over the last month, erasing a seemingly insurmountable 11 – ½ win deficit to Avdulla. Bowman now has taken a slim lead and has nine rides on his schedule for Saturday at Rosehill Gardens. Six of those rides will be for Chris Waller, one for the Snowdens, one for Stephen Gleeson and one for Clarry Conners, so Bowman will have no excuses for a lack of talent beneath him, provided he can remain upright. For the most part, Bowman and his horses have drawn well for the Rosehill meeting, with the one possible exception being the eighth race, where Zourkhan will jump from the 16th barrier as the $4.60 second favourite to Collateral and Tim Clark.
Avdulla will next be eligible to ride Wednesday next at Warwick Farm. He almost needs to win out in order to secure the premiership, else face the bitter prospect of relinquishing the title after outworking and outriding every other Sydney jockey for the bulk of the 2016 – 2017 season.