Yet as the wind blew through a frozen Randwick on Saturday, there was little in the way of change.
Bowman rode a five-timer on the Kensington track for five different stables: Winx’s handler Chris Waller, Team Hawkes, John O’Shea, the partnership of Peter and Paul Snowden and James Cummings’ Godolphin juggernaut.
There’s no magic about what I’m doing, I’ve just had the right horses with conditions to suit
It could have been six if not for Glen Boss crashing the party on Wild About Her in the last, just edging out the Bowman-ridden Juventus. Boss turned around shortly after they passed the post and quipped: “how does it feel to run second?”
Asked about his affinity with Randwick’s inner circuit, a modest Bowman joked: “I couldn’t stand the joint before today. There’s no magic about what I’m doing, I’ve just had the right horses with conditions to suit.”
After one last-stride winner he mentioned the Melbourne Cup in the same breath as a benchmark 78 winner, Waller’s Yonkers.
The horse was bought by bloodstock guru Guy Mulcaster out of the United States, raced initially in Europe before ending up in Australia. On face value, the horse’s story seems as strange as Bowman’s prediction after he took every inch of the straight to nab Gone Bye over 1800 metres.
But Bowman knows what’s ahead, a spring carnival with little chance of international visitors and it’s not fanciful to think Yonkers will make the cups grade should 2020 be an antipodean-only year.
“I’m not saying he’s a Melbourne Cup horse, but he’s certainly going to be up to the better staying races in the spring,” Bowman shrugged.
He then sat motionless on the Hawkes’ Dirty Work, who won with the same authority of Winx at her pomp. O’Shea’s Rocha Clock came from last and rounded up her rivals. Betting drifter Hightail had the blinkers on and showed the same laser-like focus of his rider, stalking main danger Hilo and sprinting clear. And then a race later he arrived late to win on Phaistos, who he ironically gunned down by a nostril riding stablemate Ranier last start.
It was a riding masterclass. The only disappointment was the fact there was almost no one there to watch it in person.
Rachel King nabbed an early riding double of her own when she saluted aboard Ciaron Maher and David Eustace’s Macroura in the first before John Thompson’s sharp filly Fituese trounced her rivals.
Adam Pengilly is a Sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.