Racing: Hugh Bowman comes full circle on Le Romain


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Hugh Bowman rode Le Romain in his first start and his first win and he clearly remembers the horse being a standout. It was August, 2015, three months after Bowman had partnered Winx to her first group 1 win in the Queensland Oaks. “I actually trialled him before his first start,” Bowman said of the Kris Lees-trained gelding. “I went to Newcastle to trial Protectionist and I rode him in a trial and I said to Kris I thought he was a pretty decent horse. “We expected him to win [on debut] at Wyong but he was a bit raw and a bit new.” Le Romain got the job done at his next start with Bowman aboard, breaking his maiden at Newcastle. Horse and jockey have teamed up intermittently since, combining to win the 2016 group 1 Cantala Stakes at Flemington and finishing a narrow second in the All Aged Stakes at Randwick the following year. The pair return to where it all began on Saturday when Le Romain races on the Newcastle course proper in the $1 million The Hunter (1300m). The only group 1 winner in the field and twice placed behind Winx, Le Romain has a distinct class edge and will come into barrier 11 if the three remaining reserves don’t run. Bowman is looking forward to rekindling the partnership having last ridden Le Romain in September 2018. “He has been a great horse to me. He’s been a great horse to everyone involved with him,” Bowman said. “He is a class horse and he’s performed consistently at the top level. Hopefully we can have a bit of luck from the wide draw.” Bowman links with Winx’s trainer Chris Waller in the group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m), picking up the ride on Kavalmo. The three-year-old has been scratched from the Sandown Guineas after drawing wide and is second pick in TAB fixed odds markets behind undefeated Tulloch Lodge gelding Rule The World. Bowman rides Kavalmo for the first time with the horse returning to NSW after a last-start fifth to Bowman’s mount Dalasan at group 3 level at Flemington. “You’d like to be on Dalasan in it wouldn’t you?” Bowman said. “It is a significant drop in grade for him, but then again he went up sharply in grade to Flemington. He had only won a maiden before that. “He looks a nice, progressive horse.” Bowman has four rides at Newcastle, including Le Romain’s stablemate Star Reflection in the Prime7 Handicap (1300m). After Newcastle, Bowman heads to Hong Kong for Sunday’s meeting at Sha Tin where he has five rides including the Frankie Lor-trained Furore and Mr Stunning in the group 2 Jockey Club Cup and Sprint respectively.

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