Hugh Bowman saluted as world’s best jockey

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HUGH Bowman has deflected credit to Winx after being acclaimed Longines world’s best jockey, topping Joao Moreira, Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori. Almost embarrassed by the attention, the ever humble Bowman was awarded a mantle he says he doesn’t deserve after logging a remarkable 16 Group 1 victories this year. The first Australian to snare the world’s best jockey accolade, Bowman attributed the glory to wonder mare Winx.

“It’s been an amazing year for me on a personal level,” he said.

“Being recognised as the world’s best jockey, I’m not sure how that sits with me to be honest.

“I really don’t see how you can judge one top jockey from another.

“I think there’s so many variables that come into the equation.

“This year, one of those variables is a horse called Winx, which has helped my cause.”

Bowman said his bond with Winx surpassed all other measures.

“Just being involved with such a special horse means a great deal,” he said.

“We certainly don’t take it for granted.

“Having spent some time in Japan and now Hong Kong, it’s really opened my eyes to how well recognised she is around the world.

“That means a lot to me and she thoroughly deserves it.

“She’s certainly been a headline act for me and, as nice as it is to be recognised as the Longines world’s best jockey this year, my association with her exceeds that.”

Bowman’s 16 Group 1 scalps came via nine different horses.

Winx delivered six, four in Sydney and two in Melbourne, crowned by the Cox Plate hat-trick.

He snatched the award from Moore by winning the Japan Cup on Cheval Grand, boosting his share of the world’s top 100 Group 1 to 10.

While Winx was a massive part of his success, Bowman’s versatility was also vital.

He won twice at the highest level on Werther in Hong Kong and twice on Kiwi mare Bonneval, once in Sydney’s autumn and again in Melbourne’s spring. He partnered Jameka to BMW triumph in Sydney and claimed the Queensland Derby on Ruthven, both for Ciaron Maher. There was also Sires Produce Stakes success on Invader for Peter and Paul Snowden and he won the Kingsford Smith Cup on Clearly Innocent for Kris Lees during Brisbane’s winter. There was further international success aboard Lucky Bubbles in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize in Hong Kong and, last month, title-clinching Japan Cup glory aboard Cheval Grand.