The BMW 2017: Eureka as Jameka rediscovers her mojo at Rosehill
CHAMPION jockey Hugh Bowman makes winning Group 1 races look ridiculously easy.
A week after Bowman rode the mighty Winx to a seven-and-quarter lengths win in the George Ryder Stakes, he was at it again at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, this time on Jameka in the $1.5 million the BMW (2400m).
Jameka did her best impersonation of Winx, putting a margin of six-and-a-half lengths on her chasing rivals.
Someone mentioned to Bowman that Jamkea “looked a sit and steer job” but the jockey was quick to reply: “They are never a sit and steer job at this level.’’
Bowman’s ride was actually a masterpiece of timing. The filly Lasqueti Spirit opened up a six-lengths lead mid-race with Jameka trailing her and taking the field up to the tearaway frontrunner.
“I didn’t know what Brenton (Avdulla on Lasqueti Spirit) was going to do but I felt I was on the supreme horse,’’ Bowman said.
“I just rated her and let her guide me. I didn’t want to get too far back off the leader but didn’t want to rush up to her either.
“Because if I rushed, I would have got my mare out of her rhythm and the others might capitalise.
“I was trying to judge the speed as it had been a strong gallop and they don’t go forever.
“I thought if I make my run too early she might come to the end of it but she was very dominant today.
“I just kept her in a nice rhythm and she did make my job easy.’’
Jameka ($3.10 favourite), with her ears priced and Bowman keeping her under a tight rein, had joined the tiring Lasquety Spirit on the turn before taking control of the race.
She bounded right away from her Australian Cup conqueror Humidor ($3.70) with Exospheric ($8) nearly two lengths away third.
Bowman has now ridden eight Group 1 winners for the season and he seems destined to be the nation’s leading rider of big-race winners for the third year in succession.
The Ciaron Maher-trained Jameka also gave Bowman a third win in The BMW after his previous successes with Fiveandahalfstar (2013) and Preferment last year.
“I won the Crown (Victoria) Oaks for Ciaron a few years ago [Set Square] and I’ve had a limited but very good association with the stable since,” Bowman said.
“This mare was dominant in winning the Caulfield Cup and you had to see it to believe her run in the Australia Cup last start.
“She’s followed the same path as Preferment last year and she has certainly lived up to expectations.”
Jameka scored her sixth win from 24 starts and lifted her prizemoney to nearly $5 million.
She won the VRC Sires Produce Stakes as a two-year-old, the Victoria Oaks at three and this season she has completed the rare Caulfield Cup-The BMW double achieved previously by Hayai (1984), Might And Power (1998) and Ethereal (2002).
“It was a beautiful ride by Hughie,’’ Maher enthused.
“She travels well when she can bowl along where she is happy and she generally can produce her best. It’s a big thrill to win this race.’’
Maher didn’t rule out a showdown between Jameka and Winx in the $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 8, Day Two of The Championships.
“Well I mightn’t get the same rider,’’ Maher conceded with Bowman certain to ride Winx.
“We’ll just let the dust settle and see how she pulls up. She’s in super form.”
Darren Weir, trainer of Humidor, and Lee Freedman, who prepared Exospheric, said their stayers ran well but were outclassed by Jameka.
Tavago ran last and was later found to have suffered a suspensory ligament injury, which will require a lengthy rehabilitation period.