The narrowest of margins has saved star jockey Hugh Bowman from forfeiting rides on champion mare Winx after he admitted not riding Olympic Academy out to the line at Randwick.
The Kris Lees-trained gelding won the Rebecca Louise Handicap (1600m), meaning Bowman was fined $600 rather than suspended after he pleaded guilty to not riding the horse out during a stewards’ inquiry on Saturday.
Bowman stopped riding Olympic Academy in the final two strides but held on by a nose over the Amanda Turner and Mauro Poletti-trained Sabino Speed in the race honouring the late Rebecca Wilson as part of a fund-raiser for breast cancer research.
“I actually thought I was a good long neck in front and misjudged it,” Bowman told stewards.
“I should have known better. It was just a genuine misjudgment, I thought I had the other horse covered.”
Chief steward Marc Van Gestel told Bowman he was fortunate he managed to hold his winning position.
“I don’t need to sit here and tell you the circumstances would have been different had you not gone on to win the race,” Van Gestel said.
“You would have missed the start if not most of the autumn carnival if you had not held on to your first placing.”
Bowman has won 12 times on Winx, with two Cox Plates among their nine Group One victories together.
Winx is set to resume in the Group Two Apollo Stakes at Randwick on February 11 with her main target the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on April 8.