Star Australian jockey Hugh Bowman will miss the ride on Werther in the Group Two Jockey Club Cup as well as the International Jockeys’ Championship at Happy Valley after copping a one-month suspension from the Melbourne Cup.
Bowman was slapped with three charges – careless riding, excessive whip use and weighing in more than half a kilogram heavy – for his effort on runner-up Marmelo on Tuesday, with stewards opting to out him for a total of 35 meetings.
The ban means the Australian will also miss the Japan Cup meeting in Tokyo, but he will be back in time for December’s Longines Hong Kong International Races with his suspension due to expire on December 8.
It leaves 13-time champion jockey Douglas Whyte in the box seat to ride multiple Group One winner Werther in the Jockey Club Cup (2,000m) on Sunday week after partnering the John Moore-trained galloper in a trial on Tuesday morning.
Moore said his preparation towards a HKIR tilt was on track, despite skipping the Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse (1,800m) last week.
“It was an even sort of trial, Douglas was very happy with it, he got some kickback and he was a little uncomfortable but it was enough for me to say it was a good hit out and good enough for me to say he is going to run a good race,” Moore said.
“I wouldn’t say he’s going to be cherry ripe on the 18th, because the owner didn’t want him to run in the Sa Sa. That’s OK but because we looked at his run in Japan last season where he ran second and he only had one lead up there and he went very well.”
While only riding Werther once before in race conditions, Whyte has a good feel for the horse from previous barrier trials.
“He trialled well, John wanted me to give him a good hit out, so I kept him up to the game pretty much for the whole trial, just behind the speed,” he said.
“When I pulled him out, he knuckled down and hit the line nicely. I have trialled him before on the dirt and he’s never going to be a morning glory as far as that goes but I was very happy with his action and very happy with the way he hit the line.”
Frankie Lor Fu-chuen’s Ruthven also stamped his credentials as a Group-level galloper, running on to win the barrier trial impressively.
After one of his more unlucky days at the races as a trainer on Sunday, Lor will be looking to bounce back with the son of Domesday in the Jockey Club Cup.
Despite being forced wide for most the 1,200m all-weather track hit out on Tuesday, Ruthven was able to run down sprinters such as Pick Number One and Fast Most Furious.