Sydney’s leading trainer will have a significant bearing on the next phase of the metropolitan jockey’s premiership, as Chris Waller-prepared horses dominate Hugh Bowman’s book of rides at Warwick Farm.
Having already formed an ominous partnership with super mare Winx, the duo combine again on Saturday as Bowman attempts to make more ground on Brenton Avdulla.
Bowman trails Avdulla by 3-1/2 wins but should benefit at Canterbury and Rosehill next week while the latter serves a careless riding suspension.
Six of Bowman’s seven rides on Saturday for Waller who hopes the ultra-experienced hoop can extract Pioneering ($7) from a slump in the 2YO Handicap (1200m).
“She’s got a big weight (61kg) and she’s out of form so we’ve decided against claiming and gone for Hugh Bowman’s experience,” Waller said on his weekly website update.
Waller was also banking on Bowman’s touch to put four-year-old Sayed ($3.50) in contention for the Benchmark Handicap (2400m) stayers’ race, his first time over the distance.
“He’ll be very hard to beat if Hughie can get him to switch off and settle stepping up to 2400,” he said.
Avdulla has seven rides spread among half a dozen and unlike Bowman he does not have a TAB favourite.
Bowman has three favourites in early markets, Cosmic Engine, Liapari and the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Spending To Win.
Cosmic Engine is aiming for his third win this preparation in a 1400m benchmark despite lugging the joint top weight of 61kg.
“He’s won them impressively and it’ll be a better track on Saturday,” Waller said.
Waller was cautious about $3.50 favourite Liapari’s claims in a Benchmark Handicap (1600m).
“He can mix his form a little but I think it’s more tempo related. He struggles if they go slow,” he said.