WHEN Hugh Bowman worked as an apprentice jockey in Bathurst, he could have only dreamed he’d one day go on to ride a superstar like Winx.
But he never could have imagined he’d one day saddle up in a race worth $10 million.
That is exactly what Bowman will do at Royal Randwick on Saturday when he rides in the inaugural edition of The TAB Everest (1,200 metres).
Bowman rides $14 chance Clearly Innocent and he’s clearly enjoying the rare opportunity of going into a big race hoping to win rather than expecting it.
“It’s nice to be on a headline horse, I’ve become accustomed to that, but it is a little more relaxing I must admit,’’ Bowman said.
“I’m going into the race on a genuine 10/1 shot, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. He’s not really a headline horse, but he impressed me so much in Brisbane.
“Can he win the Everest? I wouldn’t say I’m expecting him to win, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if he does.’’
Clearly Innocent, who was selected by slot holder Damion Flower to run in The Everest, has come a long way in the past 18 months.
The gelding won the 2016 Country Championship under the care of Greg Bennett then rode to Group 1 level in the Brisbane winter after Bennett made a career change and transferred him to Kris Lees.
In winning the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup at Eagle Farm and placing in the Stradbroke at Doomben, Bowman gained the view that Clearly Innocent possesses something special.