Having already won one of the spring majors at the Melbourne carnival, jockey Hugh Bowman says the next one can’t come quickly enough.
Bowman won Saturday’s Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on champion mare Winx for the third time and is eagerly awaiting Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
The champion jockey rides Marmelo, currently the $9 third favourite behind Almandin ($7) and Humidor ($8), in next Tuesday’s $6 million race over 3200m.
“It’s a bit like the Cox Plate, the Cup just can’t come quickly enough,” Bowman said.
The weight-for-age Cox Plate is the only one of the three major races over the Melbourne carnival Bowman has won with the best chances in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups often under his weight range.
Bowman partnered Marmelo into sixth place behind Boom Time in last month’s Caulfield Cup and feels the stayer has come on after riding him in trackwork at Werribee on Thursday.
Whether that Caulfield Cup performance will prove any help for Marmelo, Bowman is unsure, but he knows the horse is feeling good.
“Maybe he would have been better for not having a run but I don’t know,” Bowman said.
“History would say he’d be better for having the experience and I’m pleased he had it.
“In my opinion, it brought him on.
“He certainly knows what he’s here for and he’s working with purpose.
“He’s really feeling good.”
Bowman was able to gain an appreciation for European-trained stayers when riding for Mick Channon in England in 2007.
Whether that will be a help or a hindrance Bowman is unsure, but he feels he’s got a better understanding of how to ride stayers in their races.
And he thinks Marmelo has the right profile to be a Melbourne Cup winner.
“I loved his last 200 metres of the Caulfield Cup and I love his temperament,” Bowman said.
“He’s got an excellent action and yeah, he does fit the profile.
“At least I hope he does.”
Bowman has a strong chance to win back-to-back Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes on Saturday when he partners Catchy from barrier 17 in the straight 1200m-sprint.
He scored on Flying Artie last year and two days out Catchy is on the second line of betting at $8 behind Viridine at $7.
“She’s a great ride in the Coolmore,” Bowman said.
“I had the choice of a few horses, but I wouldn’t swap her for anything and I wouldn’t change the draw (17).”