Rosehill Guineas winner Criterion looms as Hugh Bowman’s headline ride on the opening day of The Championships, but his favourite horse will carry his hopes in the $3 million Doncaster Mile.
Bowman won the Rosehill Guineas on the David Payne-trained Criterion and the colt is the favourite to win the ATC Australian Derby.
The leading jockey also reunites with the Guy Walter-trained Streama in Saturday’s Doncaster having not ridden the multiple Group One-winning mare in a race for six months.
“I’d have to say she’s probably my favourite horse racing around at the moment,” Bowman told Melbourne’s RSN radio.
“I’ve had a lot to do with her, won a couple of Group Ones on her and had a lot of success on the mare.”
Bowman’s last race ride on Streama was a close second to Boban in last year’s Group One Epsom Handicap over the same famous 1600m course at Randwick as the Doncaster.
Walter holds a special place in Doncaster history after preparing the trifecta in the time-honoured handicap in 2005 with Patezza beating Court’s In Session and Danni Martine.
Bowman is banking on the horsemanship and training abilities of Walter to have Streama peaking on the big day.
“You can never underestimate Guy Walter’s horses going into these major races,” Bowman said.
“He’s second to none when it comes to preparing a horse for a certain target. This mare has been aimed at the Doncaster and she was narrowly beaten by Boban in the Epsom in the spring.”
Bowman claimed a feature race treble at the Golden Slipper meeting at Rosehill including the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes on Lucia Valentina.
Among his other rides on Saturday is the Anthony Cummings-trained Fontelina in the $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes.
Fontelina was a luckless last-start second in the William Reid Stakes behind spirit Of Boom.