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Image: Steve Hart
Monte Ditto has carried the Koolman family silks to victory at Rosehill

Hugh Bowman has partnered Monte Ditto to an emotional victory in the Midway Handicap at Rosehill, dedicating the win to the family of the late Anton Koolman.

Bowman wore black armbands in honour of the renowned bloodstock agent, who died last weekend aged 82.

The champion jockey’s association with the family extended beyond racing with Bowman attending Scots College with Koolman’s son Andrew, making Monte Ditto’s victory a special moment for them all.

“It’s great to win in the colours of the family,” Bowman said.

“I have known this family for a very long time and to win on this horse this afternoon means a lot to me, and I’m sure it does to them too.

“My thoughts are with all the family.”

A renowned bloodstock agent, Koolman bought the likes of Melbourne Cup winner Let’s Elope and grand stayer Stony Bay and later established Hermitage Thoroughbreds with his son, Oliver.

Under the Hermitage banner, he enjoyed tremendous success with horses the ilk of The Autumn Sun, two-time Oaks winner Egg Tart and Group 1 performers Youngstar and Funstar.

Monte Ditto is not in that league, but he has been a handy performer, amassing more than $230,000 in prizemoney and winning four of his 28 starts.

“He’s a horse that has got mixed form but I could tell when I balanced up and asked him to go, he was committed to winning,” Bowman said.

“As I went through the gaps, he really knuckled down to his task and it was a strong performance in the end.”

Trained by David Pfieffer, Monte Ditto ($6.50) got the verdict by a neck over Air Of Alsace ($9) with Centro Storico ($4.20 fav) another three-quarters of a length away third.

 
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