Hugh Bowman’s Melbourne Cup experience so far has been frustrating at best.
Three times he has been booked to ride strong chances, two of them haven’t even make it to the starting stalls.
The one that did, Roman Emperor, disappointed when he beat just two rivals home as an $11 chance in the 2009 Melbourne Cup.
“I’ve been through it all,” Bowman said of his search for a competitive Melbourne Cup ride.
“A few years ago I was on Metal Bender and he bled in the Mackinnon. Mourayan was scratched the morning of the race.
“I’ve had the build up a few times. I just haven’t got to the gates.”
Bowman is again booked to partner Mourayan for owner Lloyd Williams on Tuesday week.
The gelding has been in strong form and was a last-start winner of the Craven Plate with Bowman aboard.
In fact, Bowman has ridden him to both his Australian victories and has no doubt he has earned his place in this year’s Cup field.
“He’s a genuine (Melbourne Cup) chance, my word he is,” Bowman said.
“He doesn’t have the class of some of the others but what he does have is a winnable weight, he’ll run the two miles on his ear and he ticks a few of the boxes.”
Such is Bowman’s enthusiasm to partner Mourayan in the Melbourne Cup, he is wasting to well below his comfortable riding weight.
The seven-year-old has just 53.5kg and Bowman is enduring a strict diet and two exercise sessions a day to meet that target.
He was 55kg when he rode at Warwick Farm last week but said the hard yards had started after his weekend commitments.
“I’m right on track,” he said. “I don’t want to screw it down too early. I’m sort of within range now.
“I’ll just monitor it and screw it down after Derby day.
“I rode Raceway in the autumn at 54 kilos and I was meant to ride Mourayan at 53.5 (kilograms) last year in the Cup but he was scratched.”
Bowman will head into the Melbourne Cup carnival with confidence.
He has been riding in terrific form, guiding Buffering and Streama to feature race wins in recent weeks and scoring aboard Mourinho on Cox Plate day.
“It’s good for momentum and good for confidence,” he said.