Hugh Bowman’s recent trips to Werribee to partner his Caulfield Cup mount Marmelo have boosted the champion jockey’s the horse will be competitive.
The Hughie Morrison-trained stayer runs for the first time in Australia in Saturday’s Caulfield Cup.
Bowman has been a regular visitor to the quarantine station at Werribee racecourse to partner Marmelo.
He rode the stayer during his first week of quarantine and again last Friday before giving him his final Melbourne Cup 2017 hit-out on Tuesday.
“I had a pretty firm gallop with him on Friday and it did its job,” Bowman said.
“I feel it stimulated him a bit.
“This morning he was much more on the bridle, much more alert with what he was up to, so I didn’t do a great deal.
“He was very comfortable so I let him breeze up the last 100 to 200 metres within himself.
“I was very pleased with how he went but any decent horse is going to work pretty well doing that sort of work.”
Marmelo will be one of the most lightly raced runners in the Cup having started 10 times, registering three wins, including a last-start victory in the Prix Kergorlay (3000m) at Deauville.
Bowman pointed out that Marmelo hadn’t raced over 2400m since last year.
“We’re aware of that,” Bowman said.
“He’s here for the Melbourne Cup and the Caulfield Cup is a good stepping stone towards that.
“Judging on what I’m feeling I think he’ll run a very big race.”
With a field of 17 Bowman has yet to digest the make-up of the field, adding Tuesday afternoon’s barrier draw would be important.
“Really my main priority with him will be he gets a comfortable run, settles where he’s comfortable and gets a trouble-free run,” Bowman said.
“If things go our way there’s no reason why he can’t win the race.”