Bowman zeros in on Premiership with treble

Jockey Hugh Bowman at Flemington
Gun hoop Hugh Bowman has a stranglehold on the Sydney Jockeys Premiership. Picture: Bradley Photos.

Hugh Bowman has a strong hold on the Sydney jockeys’ premiership after riding a treble at the Canterbury midweek meeting.

With one metropolitan meeting for the season remaining at Rosehill on Saturday, Bowman is poised to claim a fourth title after Brenton Avdulla endured another frustrating afternoon.

Bowman saluted on favourites Brave Song ($2.25) and Nictock ($2.30) before Avdulla even made it onto a saddle, and although the long-time premiership leader claimed the duo’s first head-to-head duel on Special Missile, he has to overcome a 2-1/2 win deficit.

Avdulla, who didn’t have a ride for the first four races at Randwick last weekend, suffered another setback before Canterbury got underway when his mounts for the three opening races were scratched.

Bowman was quick to exploit that advantage by starting his full book of rides with an early double.

Brave Song won his maiden at his second start for trainers Peter and Paul Snowden then Nicktock recorded his first city win to make it five victories from six starts for Mudgee trainer Cameron Crockett.

Avdulla trimmed the deficit by biding his time before launching joint favourite Special Missile ($3) down the straight to claim a Benchmark 72 Handicap (1550m) by three lengths.

“It’s hard to fire a gun when you’ve got no ammo to shoot with,” Avdulla said.

“I missed out on the first four on Saturday, the first three today. I’ll go down fighting.”

“Hughie put it me before the corner but when I put my man into gear he sprinted like a nice horse. He was there to get run down from the furlong but he toughed it out well.

Bowman restored his early buffer on the Chris Waller-trained Chatelard ($5.50) who maintained the unbeaten start to his career by claiming the Benchmark 66 Handicap (1900m) by three-quarters of a length.

In the nine-race season finale this weekend, Avdulla had eight bookings on Wednesday while Bowman had another full program..

“I hope they’re good. If they’re not, someone will have some explaining to do,” Bowman said before crediting his manager Bryan Haskins.

“He’s been a great supporter and a great part of the team.”

Avdulla was vague when asked about his prospects of wrapping up the season on a high.

“I haven’t even had a look to be honest. I can’t really help you there,” he said.

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