Trainer Chris Waller says he may have to turn his phone off as jockeys clamber to replace the suspended Hugh Bowman on champion Winx in the Apollo Stakes.
Bowman copped two suspensions in two days at Warwick Farm on Friday and Auckland on Saturday, ruling him out of the ride on Winx when she returns in the Apollo Stakes on February 17 in Sydney.
Bowman has ridden Winx to 21 wins including all 15 of her Group One victories including three Cox Plates.
“I suppose we had a long run without interrupted riding with Hughie and I suppose sooner or later it was going to happen,” part-owner Peter Tighe told RSN927.
“(The reaction) was just take it on the chin, I think, like Hugh is doing.”
Tighe is in New Zealand for the Karaka yearling sale, as is Waller with the two to discuss things over the next few days with Winx’s other owners Debbie Kepitis and Richard Treweeke.
LIke Tighe, Waller believes the choice will be someone who can absorb the pressure and the publicity.
“I’ll go back and scratch it out with the owners and put a few suggestions forward,” Waller said in a TV interview from New Zealand.
“We’ll probably include Hugh Bowman in the decision as well because obviously there’s a lot of pressure involved with the rider of Winx, a lot of expectations.
“I don’t want to put any jockey in that situation that’s not comfortable with it. I don’t want him or her to think he or she may be the reason she doesn’t win.’
“At this stage I’ve been thinking about throwing my phone away. It’s been going off with messages from all over the world, which we are honoured by, as well as riders in Australia and New Zealand.”
Multiple Group One-winner Tye Angland is one who has put his hand up.
“I sent him (Chris) and said I’m here if you want me,” Angland told Sky Sports Radio.
“I’m pretty sure they’ve got their particular riders that they are already eyeing off.
“I think the hardest thing would be coping with the pressure before you even get on her on race day.”
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