Champion jockey Hugh Bowman has braved a cold winter day in Melbourne to get an idea of Winx’s opponents ahead of her Cox Plate defence.
Winx is one of 157 entries for the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 22 with 22 overseas horses nominated.
Bowman was a special guest at the release of nominations at the Valley on Tuesday and said there was still a long way to go before Winx made it to the starting gates.
“All going well she’ll arrive here on Cox Plate day sound and give it a great shake,” Bowman said.
“There’s still a bit of water to go under the bridge before Cox Plate day but that spring presence is in the air and I’m certainly looking forward it.
“One thing though, I’m not used to the Melbourne spring at this early stage, it’s a little cold for me.”
Winx’s victory last year gave the Sydney-based Bowman his first win in one of the big four races on the Australian calendar.
“Ever since I was a little kid I dreamed of being a jockey. You dream of riding the best horses and she’s it,” he said.
This year Bowman also hopes Preferment, a Chris Waller-trained stablemate of Winx, can give him a Caulfield or Melbourne Cup victory.
The Caulfield Cup entries were also unveiled on Tuesday with 170 horses nominated, 28 from overseas.
“In the Cups in the past I’ve had limited opportunities because of my weight, but that has changed a little bit in recent years,” Bowman said.
“But having Winx as my platform horse is a great platform to be building off.”
Bowman says Winx has matured physically since going through her autumn campaign undefeated and he has been aboard her twice in recent weeks.
He said after her trial last week she had come back in great order and he could not wait for her return run in the Warwick Stakes at Randwick on August 20.
“I’m looking forward to Winx’s first-up run as much as everyone else is,” he said.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au