Hugh Bowman headed to Werribee quarantine centre this morning (Monday) to partner top-class British raider Red Cadeaux.
The nine-year-old gelding broke a record last November, finishing runner-up in the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) three times. It is a favourite race of Red Cadeaux’s connections but they’ve decided to give the gelding an Australian campaign outside of the ‘race that stops the nation’ for the first time this autumn.
Red Cadeaux arrived in the country last month and since then has been enjoying himself at his second home Werribee. Bowman is set to partner the gelding in his two starts this season, getting his first feel for him this morning in a routine canter.
It was little more than a leisurely stroll around the track for the pair, who will run in this Saturday’s Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington, but a worthwhile experience for Bowman none the less.
The jockey did the same with Wall Street back in 2010, believing the benefit gained from riding the horse in trackwork before their first race helped him win the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
“I came here just to get a sit on him, just a feel of him,” Bowman told TVN.
“It doesn’t hurt, it certainly helped when I rode Wall Street – I think if I hadn’t galloped him he may not have won the Emirates.
“Just getting to know him was important. This horse is a pretty kind horse – Wall Street was different, he had a bit more character.”
Following the Australian Cup, Red Cadeaux will travel to Sydney to contest the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on April 11 at Randwick.
Bowman was looking for a 2015 Australian Cup ride after committing to Terravista in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at the same day’s meeting. He decided on Red Cadeaux, believing the colt is the “ideal” Sydney Cup horse given his 3200-metre record and attractive weight in the race – 56.5kg.
“I was looking for an Australian Cup ride and when I was told his program it just suited me,” Bowman said.
“It was like a nice shoe – sometimes they fit perfectly.
“Win, lose or draw on Saturday, you know he’s going to improve into the Sydney carnival, just purely as the distances of the races are going to suit him better.”
The final field for the Australian Cup will be released later this week while first acceptances for the 2015 Sydney Cup are due to be announced this afternoon.
Punters looking to put an early bet on both of Red Cadeaux’s autumn runs can do so at Ladbrokes.com.au. The online bookmaker is paying $11 for the gelding to win the Australian Cup and $10 for him to win the Sydney Cup.