Tragedy strikes Bowman family on carnival eve
Champion jockey Hugh Bowman, still mourning the tragic loss of a beloved family member, returns to the saddle for the Group 2 $200,000 Expressway Stakes meeting at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
For Bowman, it is a return to some sort of normality after the death of his brother-in law last week which resulted in the Hall of Fame jockey having to stand down from riding at Randwick and Warwick Farm over the long weekend.
The Expressway Stakes is the unofficial start of the Sydney Autumn Carnival and Bowman will partner favourite Alizee in the first Group-status race of the year.
"We are still waiting on a coroner's report for (wife) Christine's brother,'' Bowman said.
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"We had to go to Mildura to identify the body on Monday.
"It's been a tough time for everyone but Christine and I have our kids to look after and (sister-in-law) Julie is working for the (Peter and Paul) Snowden stable so that has helped to keep us all busy.''
Bowman revealed he will need to return to Ireland early next month where his wife's family live.
"We have a lot to do and it's going to be a long road,'' Bowman admitted.
"But for me, it is business as usual for Saturday, I'll study the fields and regroup.''
Bowman has a good book of rides on Saturday headed by Godolphin glamour mare Alizee who is defending her Expressway title.
Alizee is attempting to become the first mare to win the feature weight-for-age sprint twice, and join Court's In Session (2005-06) as the race's only multiple winners.
Bowman rode Alizee in her recent barrier trial hit-out when she ran on nicely without being pressured to run fourth behind Nature Strip, White Moss and Yes Yes Yes.
"She felt great,'' Bowman said of Alizee's trial. "She was very settled which excited me because she can get a bit above herself.
"But her trial was really good and we are expecting a pretty forward showing.
"Because of her temperament, James (Cummings, trainer) would not have her underdone. If she was too fresh she could run her race before the race.''
Bowman has six rides at the Randwick meeting including the unbeaten Chris Waller-trained two-year-old colt Global Quest in the Group 3 $160,000 Canonbury Stakes (1100m).
The jockey, a winner of 88 Group 1 races, covets a breakthrough Golden Slipper win and will be testing Global Quest as a potential ride in the world's richest juvenile race.
"It (Golden Slipper) is going to come around quickly,'' Bowman said.
"I did ride a nice filly (Muntaseera) for Ciaron Maher earlier in the season and I missed out on riding Rulership at Randwick last Saturday. I'm interested to see how Global Quest goes on Saturday.''
The Hall of Fame jockey, famous for his partnership with mighty mare Winx, went "back to work" on Tuesday morning where he rode a number of potential autumn carnival contenders at a star-studded trials session.
They included Golden Rose winner Bivouac who impressed the jockey winning the opening heat over 900m.
"Bivouac was fantastic,'' Bowman enthused.
"He's very exciting and I reckon he has developed since last spring. He's a bigger horse now.
"You don't really get a guide on them until you see them at the races but he has certainly furnished over the summer months.''
#Racing NSW on Wednesday made the proactive decision to switch the Expressway Stakes meeting from Rosehill Gardens to Royal Randwick due to the extreme hot weather forecast for Saturday.
The weather bureau is forecasting 41C at Rosehill on Saturday while the sea breeze will ensure it is slightly cooler at Randwick with a top of 35C.