Hugh Bowman has extended his formidable spring partnership with Chris Waller to the midweek races at Canterbury, winning aboard a horse which will join the stable stampede to Melbourne.
Bowman and Waller were unstoppable last weekend, teaming up on Saturday to claim the Epsom Handicap with Winx in Sydney and the Group One Turnbull Stakes in Melbourne with Preferment a day later.
The combination will unleash another Group One raid this weekend when Press Statement starts favourite in the Caulfield Guineas.
Encosta Line isn’t among the big names in the Waller yard but his victory in the Schweppes Plate (1550m) at Canterbury on Wednesday has secured him a chance to make a mark of his own during the Melbourne spring carnival.
The colt will head to the Carbine Club Stakes at Flemington on the first day of the Melbourne Cup carnival, a race Waller won in 2014 with this year’s Cox Plate favourite Kermadec and one Bowman says is within his scope.
“He’s earned himself a trip,” Bowman said.
“His concentration still isn’t at the level it needs to be but when he learns what to do he’s going to improve and improve quickly.”
Encosta Line’s maiden win came at his ninth start and Liam Prior, deputising for Waller, said the three-year-old was starting to fulfil the early promise he had shown the stable.
Bowman brought up a double aboard the Steve Englebrecht-trained Brogue in the Ranvet Handicap but not before a few anxious moments early in the straight.
The horse was bailed up behind runners until inside the final furlong and even when he got clear Bowman feared it might have been too late.
“Even when he got the split I didn’t know if he’d win,” Bowman said.
“I was able to keep the horse balanced but he’ll be better on a bigger track when he’s got time to get himself organised and get home.”
Brogue was gelded after finishing midfield in the ATC Australian Derby and while he won’t be seen in Melbourne this spring Englebrecht believes the horse’s future is bright.
“I’m pretty excited about him and it takes a bit to get me excited,” Englebrecht said.
His cousin and fellow trainer Jeff Englebrecht also celebrated a win at Canterbury with Lady Jivago who lumped a big weight and overcame an outside barrier.
The filly is likely to be given her chance in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes at Randwick on Saturday week.