A veteran trainer with two horses on his books and only a vague recollection of his last city winner could be an unlikely ally for Hugh Bowman at Randwick on Wednesday.
Doing his best to see off a late-season jockeys’ premiership charge from Nash Rawiller, Bowman will be hoping to open his midweek account on Stocky in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1100m).
A winner of his only run at Gosford when ridden by Jay Ford, Stocky provides 76-year-old Warwick Farm trainer David Mills with a rare metropolitan opportunity as well as the chance to have some influence on the title outcome.
“You never know do you,” Mills said. “He’ll be trying hard to keep that Rawiller at bay so that’s one thing in our favour.”
Bowman leads Rawiller by 5-1/2 wins and both riders have complete books at Randwick where the premiership race will add spice to otherwise run-of-the-mill midweek racing fare.
With Ford sidelined, Mills secured Bowman’s services by a process of elimination that was completed before it almost got started.
“The bloke who won on him at Gosford got suspended so I thought I’d start at the top and work down,” he said.
Mills, who says his last city winner “was quite a while ago” insists Stocky might not be the worst of Bowman’s Randwick rides.
“He gets out and gets running. He showed good speed at Gosford and he’s got a turn of foot,” he said.
“I think he’s badly weighted but anyway they are generally right the handicappers so let’s hope they’re right on this occasion.”
Rawiller will ride the promising Aussies Love Sport against Stocky for Gai Waterhouse.
Aussies Love Sport was backed to win the Magic Millions but the well-bred colt missed the race because he was too far down the ballot order.
Of Rawiller’s seven rides, four will be for leading trainer Chris Waller.
Bowman’s only ride for Waller will be Field Marshall, first-up for the Rosehill trainer after winning one race in four starts for Waterhouse.