Hugh Bowman rides Ayrton in the Hollindale Stakes

Hugh Bowman heads north on Saturday to compete in the Hollindale Stakes meeting for the first time since 2017.

Champion jockey Hugh Bowman will end a five-year drought when he teams up with Victorian galloper Ayrton in Saturday’s Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast.

This Saturday will be the first time the racing great has entered the Hollindale Stakes meeting since 2017 when he ran three winners, taking the Ken Russell Memorial Classic aboard Taking Aim, the Gold Coast Bracelet on Dawn Wall and the Prime Minister’s Cup. on Religify.

Bowman’s only success in the Hollindale Stakes came in 2010 when he teamed up with Chris Waller and Metal Bender in the weight-for-age feature.

“It’s been a few years since he’s been to the coast for this reunion, but having the chance to ride Ayrton this year has changed that,” Bowman manager Bryan Haskins said.

“He has a decent rides book, so hopefully he can get lucky.

“Ayrton obviously faces a tough task against Zaaki, but he is a horse that goes far and it will be interesting to see how he lines up against the right weight-for-age horses.”

Ayrton’s campaign in Queensland will see the four-year-old tackle the Doomben Cup Group 1 (2,000m) and Q22 (2,200m) $1.2m after his next assignment.

The emerging four-year-old made a winning comeback after an easy scoring spell in Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield on April 16.

Meanwhile, Bowman will also link up with his two biggest supporting stables at the big Gold Coast meeting.

The jockey will ride Ingratiating or Zethus for James Cummings in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1400m) and Itz Aspen Colorado (Aspen Colorado) for new trainer Chris Waller in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m).

The Kiwi filly crossed the gap after a third in Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 19.

The Queensland Oaks are the main target for the daughter of Proisir who was trained in New Zealand by Graham Richardson and Rogan Norvall.

Bowman is also contracted to ride one of Michael Costa’s last Australian riders when Yamazaki contests the Listed Silk Stocking Stakes (1200m).

Costa is on his way to Dubai to become the private trainer of Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, owner of British champion galloper and two-time Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Addeybb.

Originally published as Hugh Bowman will attend Hollindale Day for the first time in five years

Clyde P. Johnson