Jockey Hugh Bowman, aboard Fortensky, gestures after winning at Royal Randwick racecourse.
The recently anointed world’s best jockey has made a successful return to Randwick after an invigorating riding stint in Japan.
Hugh Bowman saluted at the second attempt when the Chris Waller-trained Fortensky also made a triumphant comeback from a spell in the #theraces Sprint (1200m).
Bowman, who rode at Randwick for the first time since the inaugural Everest day in October, was soon diverted to his Japan Cup-winning exploits with Cheval Grand after guiding Fortensky to the line in November.
“It was a dream come true really,” Bowman said.
“It wasn’t really a race I aimed to win as a youngster but having spent time in Japan before I thought it was a realistic goal to do well there.
“I laid a good platform there a few years ago, I went back this time and just rode a kilo heavier which made it a lot easier for me.
“When he drew barrier one it all set up very well.”
The Japan Cup staying test boosted his haul of Group One wins to 16 for the calendar year and vindicated his decision to have a six-week sojourn.
“I just felt a break from here would be good. I found it a little bit monotonous, so to speak, and I thought a little trip away would be a good freshen up.”
Bowman admitted 2017 would be a hard act to follow,
“I’ve got to pinch myself really looking back, but I’ve got some nice horses to look forward so we won’t be resting on our laurels,” he said.
Fortensky does not fit into that category with Waller saying the four-year-old gelding had reached his level.
“There’s no real need to go beyond benchmarks and realistically he won’t,” he said.
Waller paid tribute to Bowman, who was named the Longines world’s best jockey last month, after Fortensky ($7) hit the line a short neck clear of Viceroy ($8).
Fortensky looked in trouble on the straight but Bowman found a decisive split at the 200.
“I guess that’s one of the many reasons he’s got the accolades he has,” Waller said.