HUGH Bowman provided another riding masterclass in the Group 1 Queensland Derby as Victorian colt Ruthven proved far too classy for its rivals in the age-group feature at Doomben.
Punters were spot on in assessing its chances at $3.20 with Sportsbet.com.au and Bowman took any bad luck out of the equation by putting the three-year-old into the picture around the home turn.
The son of Domesday sat just off the pace before Bowman, who won his first Queensland Derby, took it to the front nearing the turn and it never looked back – winning easily over fellow Victorians Rockstar Rebel and Ana Royale.
“It wasn’t what I’d consider a standard ride but I knew I was on a good horse and he was in such a good rhythm I knew a hard-testing Derby was going to be to his favour so that’s what I presented him with,” Bowman said.
“He obviously showed great stamina and he’s an impressive horse. I think you’ll see a lot more of him in the spring time.”
Ruthven had been a model of consistency this campaign which included a placing in the Alister Clarke Stakes and a fourth in the ATC Derby behind Jon Snow, which proved to be the best form guide against a field which lacked genuine exposed form.
“We opted to keep him racing because he’s a big raw horse who needed to learn his craft and he’s got better with every start,” trainer Ciaron Maher said.
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Maher was confident the talented three-year-old could put a string of placings behind it after some pleasing track work earlier this week.
“His work on Tuesday was sharper than he’s ever done before,” Maher said.
“Sometimes when they’re deep into a prep it can mean they’re a little over the top but Hughie said his work was outstanding and he really backed it up today.”
The Victorians made it a Queensland Derby trifecta with Rockstar Rebel finishing second and Ana Royale making good late ground for third.
The win brought up a treble for Hugh Bowman at Doomben on Queensland’s premier day of racing.
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