If good sportsmanship won Group One races, Tye Angland would be a warm favourite to collect Saturday’s Spring Champion Stakes on Devil Hawk.
The jockey had been the regular rider of Caulfield Guineas top pick Press Statement but lost the mount to Hugh Bowman who has kept the seat in the $1 million race.
It is a situation most top jockeys have experienced in the cut-throat world of racing and Angland has taken the disappointment on the chin.
“Press Statement, I’ve got a real soft spot for him,” Angland said.
“Hughie came out and rode him last time and won on him and good luck to all the connections. I hope he does win.”
Bowman might be aboard the Caulfield Guineas favourite but in a sign Angland retains his high standing with the Chris Waller stable, the trainer will rely on him to partner Devil Hawk in the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick.
Waller brought up his 51st Group One victory when Preferment took out the Turnbull Stakes last Sunday but a Spring Champion win still eludes him.
In a hit-and-miss campaign, Devil Hawk scored a barnstorming first-up win at Canterbury and two starts later won the Spring Stakes at Newcastle.
Either side of his Group Three success were unplaced runs at Rosehill.
Angland has been aboard in all of them and says the half-brother to Group One winner Hawkspur is still maturing but has the talent to feature at Randwick.
“He’s just very raw at the moment,” he said.
“If things go his way he’s got enough ability and stamina to win a race like this but you’ve got to catch him on his day.
“His big brother matured late and I think he’s going to be a similar sort of horse.”
Devil Hawk will be one of two runners for Waller along with Gloaming Stakes winner and odds-on favourite Vanbrugh who will be ridden by Glyn Schofield.
Queensland trainer Desleigh Forster will also saddle up a brace of starters including Too Good To Refuse who is regarded as Vanbrugh’s biggest danger.
Newcastle three-year-old Tatoosh is also prominent in betting as he looks for a breakthrough stakes win after finishing runner-up at his past three starts at Group level.