Bowman stokes up Fire to get party started
CHAMPION jockey Hugh Bowman celebrated his birthday on Saturday by winning the juvenile opener on the emerging The Fire Trap at Rosehill Gardens.
The Fire Trap improved his record to three wins from just four starts when he wore down Master Ash to take out the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1400m).
The Fire Trap's large and excited group of owners were just as happy to introduce themselves to Hall of Famer Gai Waterhouse, the trainer of runner-up Master Ash, immediately after the race, as they were when Bowman gave an encouraging precis of their two-year-old's winning effort.
Bowman, who turned 38, was impressed by The Fire Trap's race sense and natural ability.
"He's a good horse,'' Bowman told the owners.
"He's a very sensible two-year-old, he's very athletic, he's got good tactical speed, he ticks all the boxes.''
The Fire Trap ($4.40) gave trainer Matthew Dunn his first Sydney juvenile winner of the season, finishing too strongly for early leader Master Ash ($3.90 favourite) to win by nearly a length. Laburnum ($4.40) was a head away third.
"This horse's form in Queensland had been good and I expected he would be competitive today,'' Bowman said.
"I still think he will develop more mentally, so there is improvement to come from him.
"He showed a nice turn of foot today although the leader was tiring. When this horse learns what his job is he is going to be turning out in better class races.
"Judging on what I saw from him today I think he will run a mile (1600m) so there is plenty to like about him.''
The Fire Trap gave Bowman his first Sydney winner of the month and only his second since late April as he has been riding primarily in Japan in recent months.
But the nation's best jockey is back to concentrate on Sydney racing, particularly as mighty mare Winx is set to barrier trial either at Warwick Farm on Friday or Rosehill on July 23.
Waterhouse was back at the races for the first time since returning from her European holiday and conceded Master Ash was beaten by a better horse on the day.
"I did like the way Master Ash kicked away from them at the top of the straight, but the winner was too strong,'' Waterhouse said.
"But isn't it good to see so many happy owners of the winner - that is what racing is all about.''