Newly crowned top jockey of the year Hugh Bowman says he has to pinch himself when he thinks of his achievements with champion Winx.
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Australia’s Bowman secured the title of the World’s Best Jockey for 2017 after winning the Japan Cup (2400m) on Cheval Grand on Sunday.
His only rival for the honour of top jockey was the UK’s Ryan Moore, who came fifth on Idaho.
The regular rider of Australian champion Winx, Bowman credits his success to the mare, who he has ridden to all her 15 Group One wins.
Bowman is the first Australian jockey to win the award, having won 10 of the world’s Top 100 Group or Grade One races.
“It’s incredible, I’ve got to pinch myself when I say that,” Bowman told Melbourne’s RSN 927.
“It’s been an amazing year, obviously headlined by the wonderful Winx.”
“She’s just taken things to a new level for all of us that are involved with her and we look forward to her coming back next year.”
The top jockey has 16 Group One wins in total under his belt so far for 2017, including two on Bonneval and two in Hong Kong on Werther.
Bowman is in Japan on a contract until Christmas and will ride at the International meeting in Hong Kong on December 10.
He says he’ll be back in Australia in the new year ahead of the Magic Millions Classic day on January 13.
Despite being proud of the achievement, Bowman downplayed his right to the top title.
“It’s got a nice ring to it I suppose,” he said.
“But at the end of the day – how do you judge whether one jockey is better than the other?”
Hugh Bowman’s 2017 Group One winners
Chipping Norton Stakes: Winx
George Ryder Stakes: Winx
The BMW: Jameka
ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes: Invader
Queen Elizabeth Stakes: Winx
Australian Oaks: Bonneval
Kingsford Smith Stakes: Clearly Innocent
Queensland Derby: Ruthven
George Main Stakes: Winx
Underwood Stakes: Bonneval
Turnbull Stakes: Winx
Cox Plate: Winx
Hong Kong Gold Cup: Werther
Chairman’s Sprint Prize (HK): Lucky Bubbles
Champions & Chater Cup (HK): Werther
Japan Cup: Cheval Grand