Jockey Hugh Bowman Expects To Win Apollo Stakes With Winx But He's Not Taking It For Granted!
Written on the 6 February 2017
I think the question on everyone's lips is... Who doesn't expect Winx to win the Apollo Stakes?
The Apollo Stakes, a Group 2 Weight-for-age race held at Randwick each February, this year February 11th, is run over a distance of 1400 metres and is worth $250,000 in prizemoney. The Apollo Stakes was won by Winx last year and this 5yo mare is set to do it again in 2017.
There is a winning expectation with Winx, after 13 consecutive wins including eight group 1's and back-to-back Cox Plates. And she is ready to start her autumn campaign in Saturday's Apollo Stakes at Randwick.
Jockey Hugh Bowman like everyone else is expecting Winx to win this race but won't take it for granted.
"I'm expecting her to win, as does everyone else, but it is a horse race until it is done. I will be treating it like I do every other time I ride in a race," Bowman said. "I have a lot of confidence in her, but I won't take anything for granted with her, I never have and I won't be starting now."
"I expect her to come to Randwick in good shape and she is forward enough to run very well."
Winx had two barrier trials on her home track at Rosehill, where she finished third on both occasions to tune up for the first of four autumn runs.
Winx is expected to draw a crowd at Randwick given the attention from sweeping all before her in racing for the past 18 months and it is something Bowman has learnt to manage.
"I'm a little more relaxed than the last two preps. But in saying that, I'm getting used to the scrutiny now, it is not foreign to me," Bowman said.
"You dream of winning all the big races but to come across a horse like this, it has really fulfilled me as a jockey. It's another level."
"I'm sort of glad I'm mature enough to appreciate how good she is. If she came in my 20s I probably wouldn't have appreciated her."
"I have ridden lots of good horses now and I'm in the prime of my career and understand different classes of horse from riding around the world."
"Being able to appreciate how good she is, for me personally, is the most satisfying part of it."
Bowman will give Winx a final hit-out at Rosehill on Tuesday and expects "to get a pretty good feeling."
Winx will take on up to five stablemates from the Chris Waller yard, led by Import Endless Drama which trialled well. Godolphin will have three runners including Melbourne Cup placegetter Hartnell, which came second to Winx in the Cox Plate by eight lengths.
Dual Group 1 winner Global Glamour is also set to challenge the weight-for-age stars, headed by champion mare Winx.
The three-year-old filly hasn't raced since being run down by Flying Jess in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast in January.
Global Glamour, who won the Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick and the Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield last October, had an exhibition gallop at Randwick on Saturday and shaded stablemate Long Time Ago.
(Photo: Hugh Bowman riding Winx, Photo Credit: racing.com)