The Golden Rose has been a happy hunting ground for Hugh Bowman, but it could hold even more significance if he can claim the early-spring feature aboard Remarque.
Not only would the Hawkes Racing colt deliver Bowman his sixth win in the Group 1 showpiece, it would also provide the top jockey with a century of victories at the highest level.
Bowman has been stranded on 99 Group 1 wins since snaring the Queensland Oaks aboard Duais, but he is philosophical about reaching the milestone.
“I’ve been on 99 for a while but that’s the way it goes,” Bowman said.
“I’m very blessed to have ridden some amazing horses over the last two decades and I’d like to think there’s some nice ones ahead to ride.
“I’ll just take each race at a time, forget about the numbers at the minute and just worry about getting the job done and when it happens, if it happens, it’ll be great.”
Bowman regards Remarque as a genuine winning chance in the Golden Rose (1400m) and bookmakers have marked him the biggest danger to $1.95 favourite Anamoe.
Anamoe has had his measure the two times they have met – in the Todman Stakes during the autumn and last start in The Run To The Rose.
But Bowman is adamant Remarque has the ability to turn the tables on Godolphin’s star colt – if he puts his mind to it.
“Obviously Anamoe has appeared to have the wood on his rivals. He’s got to continue to do that, but he was impressive first-up in The Run To The Rose and he’s a deserved favourite,” Bowman said.
“But I think Remarque has certainly got the artillery to give him a shake.
“This race has been the horse’s target for quite some time. His autumn was cut short, he just wasn’t quite there, and I’m hoping the rewards of that are going to be reaped this weekend.”
Hawkes Racing produced the quinella in the Golden Rose last year when Ole Kirk edged out North Pacific and Remarque has a similar sense of timing.
He has drawn well in gate five and will have a home track advantage with racing returning to Rosehill for the first time this season following a COVID-related hiatus.
Bowman says Remarque has a lot in his favour, but it is up to the colt to rise to the occasion.
“I don’t think there’s any question he’s got the talent, we’re all confident of that,” he said.
“The exterior factors aren’t of any benefit or detriment. He’s got a good draw, I love the fact he’s on his home track.
“He’s got a lot in his favour. But he’s got to deliver.”