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Hugh Bowman labels Terravista his linchpin before Newmarket Handicap

Hugh Bowman leads the group 1 standings for the season with five wins after Hallowed Crown added a Randwick Guineas to his Golden Rose on Saturday, but his best is yet to come.
Nanjing Night Net

Bowman will reunite with Darley Classic winner Terravista in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington, which he calls his headline act for the autumn.

“He’s my main horse [for the autumn] after his performance in the spring but obviously Hallowed Crown is making inroads into that,” Bowman told racingandsports南京夜网.au

“Terravista is my linchpin at the moment. He is a lightly raced horse and Joe [Pride, trainer] identified this race since he won the Darley Classic in the spring. I have ridden in two trials and I’m very happy with how he is feeling.”

Terravista will attempt to become the first horse to win the Newmarket first-up since Polycrates in 1917, but his presence in Melbourne has allowed Bowman to pick the ride on Red Cadeaux in the Australian Cup and for the rest of the autumn.

Bowman should be at the centre of the action in the two group 1s but also has Set Square, on which he won the VRC Oaks in the spring, in the Marton Stakes to make up a great book at Flemington. He will then fly to Hong Kong to ride Helene Happy Star in the Derby there on Sunday.

Bowman goes to Melbourne after five winners at the weekend, highlighted by Hallowed Crown and capped by Diamond Oasis and Snippets Land at Canberra on Sunday.

However, the focus is on Terravista and Bowman is aware of the advantage he has over world champion sprinter and four-times group 1 winner Lankan Rupee at the weights in the famous sprint down the Flemington straight.

“Although he gets weight relief [of two kilograms] off Lankan Rupee, I’m not sure whether he is worthy of a bit more relief. But having said that, Terravista did beat him at weight-for-age in the spring,” Bowman said.

“Lankan Rupee does have a better record than him overall but we are ready for the challenge.

“Some form and analysis people would argue that to win a Newmarket first-up will be an uphill battle, but [Terravista’s] first-up record speaks for itself.”

Trainer Pride knows that he can only get a limited amount of runs from Terravista in a preparation and did not want to waste one of them. He points to Terravista’s perfect record from four attempts returning from a spell.

“When I program my horses, I don’t look at history. I know what Terravista can do first-up and I’m very confident with him fresh,” Pride said. “There is improvement in him but he is very fit and ready to go.”

The Newmarket is shaping up as a great contest with Lankan Rupee coming off his Lightning Stakes blitz, Chautauqua returning to the Flemington straight after a brilliant first-up win at Caulfield and the three-year-old Brazen Beau trying to knock the established sprinters off.

Bowman heads to Melbourne on Monday morning to get his first feel of three-time Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux in his final gallop before the Australian Cup. He has also been booked to ride the English stayer in The BMW and Sydney Cup.

“He is a headline horse no doubt about it and he is a very consistent horse. His form is outstanding and he has run very well in some of the biggest races on the planet,” Bowman said.

“The 2000 metres is probably a bit short of his best distance but it is a lovely point for him to start his campaign.”

John Moore has called on Bowman’s skills for Hong Kong’s biggest race, the Derby, with Helene Happy Star on Sunday.

“He is genuine winning chance in a very open Derby,” Bowman said. “He can get a little hot [before his races] and he needs things to go his way a bit but he is very talented.”

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