Sydney Trainers and Jockeys Premierships Offer Sharp Contrast
Chris Waller has a lock on the Sydney trainers’ premiership, which would increase his haul to seven. He has, with three weeks remaining in the 2016 – 2017 Australian thoroughbred racing season, an insurmountable lead, such that not even combining the wins of number two John O’Shea and number threes Peter and Paul Snowden could overtake him.
Waller’s number one hoop Hugh Bowman, however, is still chasing Brenton Avdulla for the Sydney jockeys’ premiership. This race is far from anticlimactic.
Avdulla has held the lead all season, rightfully so, because he has simply outworked every other jockey. Only Tim Clark is in the conversation for the number of starts. Those two, Avdulla and Clark, along with Tommy Berry, are the only three of the top twenty who have started 400 or more races for the season.
Bowman rode two winners at Warwick Farm on Saturday, both Waller horses, Lipari and Sayed. That gives him 74 winners for the season, meaning that he is now just 1.5 wins behind Avdulla, but started a suspension on Sunday that will hold him out of two metro meetings. He will have just four meetings remaining when he is eligible to return and this time, he is likely to be the pursuer, rather than the pursued.
We normally give the majority of the credit to the horse and Bowman, through his relationship with Winx, can be said of races aboard her to just be along for the ride, but his win on Lipari in the Tab.com.au Handicap showcased his ability as a rider.
Even Waller freely acknowledges that Lipari will never be a star of Waller’s stable, with no more ambitions for the horse than perhaps a Group 3 mile race. Waller deserves credit for keeping Lipari out when the good horses were around, and then strategically putting him away and bringing him out rested at the end of the season.