Gun Runner Wins Pegasus Easily Winx Needs New Rider for Apollo

Lots of happenings in the world of thoroughbred racing, so today’s offering with touch briefly on an assortment of news from the world of racing.

We watched The Pegasus World yesterday. The promoter, the Stronach Group, bills the race as the richest in the world, with good reason. The prizemoney was $US16 million, with $7 million of that going to the winner. Even the last three in the field of 12 received $650,000 each, not enough to wipe out the $1 million it cost for a barrier slot, but enough to nearly cancel the ante.

We learned two things. The promoter had to buy the final three slots for the race and already had a horse in the running, so four of the 16 million in prizemoney came from the Stronach Group.

The other thing we learned was that the winner, Gun Runner, seems as though he could give Winx a run for the money. The Pegasus is about 1800 metres, a distance with which Winx would be comfortable. How to address the difference between running on dirt and running on turf, however, presents a major obstacle to a race between the two horses.

Speaking of Winx, she is set to debut in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes in mid-February, but the hunt is on for a replacement jockey. Hugh Bowman made an ill-fated journey to New Zealand recently, and received, for his trouble, a suspension of 12 days on a careless riding charge.

That suspension from racing was incurred at Ellersie in the Karakaka Millions meeting and comes on top of one from Warwick Farm on Australia Day.

Let us hope that Bowman’s misfortune does not taint that of Winx.

Chis Waller should not have much difficulty finding a stand-in for Bowman. Some names that immediately come to mind are Brenton Avdulla, Tye Angland, Corey Brown, Blake Shinn, Damien Oliver and Corey Brown.

Waller might like to have Joao Moriera, but the Hong Kong Jockey Club rules prohibit Moriera from riding in a Group 2 race.

In remarks printed in the Sunday Telegram, Bowman told reporters, “I won’t be appealing it (the suspension) and I expect her (Winx) to start as planned on the 17th and I won’t be riding her, which will be a strange experience. I don’t know who will be next in line but Chris will work something out.”

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