Hugh Bowman celebrates 100th G1 – again

A decision to change course and run Forbidden Love on a seven-day back-up in the Canterbury Stakes has yielded the ultimate reward for her connections and added an ironic twist to a career-milestone for jockey Hugh Bowman.

Bowman landed a century of elite race wins when he captured The Metropolitan on Montefilia in the spring but was relegated to 99 this week when Savatiano was disqualified from her Canterbury Stakes victory 12 months ago due to a positive swab.

Just a few days later, he has claimed the same race, this time aboard Forbidden Love, to get him back to 100.

And whereas there was no crowd to celebrate the occasion in the spring due to COVID restrictions, a healthy number of spectators were on hand on Saturday.

“That’s the century and it was pretty simply really,” Bowman said.

“Obviously, when Montefilia won there was nobody here, so it is great to have the fans back.

“It has been a wonderful journey for me, I’ve ridden some wonderful horses and I’m grateful to have my wife Christine by my side here today.”

Bowman had been slated to ride Lost And Running in the Canterbury Stakes but that horse was sent to Melbourne to dodge Sydney’s wet weather.

The star jockey’s availability was a factor in Michael and Richard Freedman deciding to change plans and back-up Forbidden Love ($2.20 fav), who had been on a Coolmore Classic path.

It proved a wise decision with the mare controlling the 1300m race and cruising to a 1-1/4 length victory over Lighthouse ($5) with Private Eye ($8) warming up late another 2-1/2 lengths away.

“She just pulled up so well from last week,” Michael Freedman said.

“I thought, we could wait for the Coolmore (Classic) and draw 15 and give weight to good fillies coming out of the Surround, so I thought, we may as well roll the dice.

“Nothing is a certainty in this game, as we all know, but I just thought with the conditions as they were going to potentially play out and how well she pulled up after the Guy Walter (Stakes win) last week, we are probably never going to get a better chance at a Group One than this and it panned out well.

“She has been a terrific mare and there is still a bit to go.”

Freedman said it was unlikely they would back Forbidden Love up three weeks in succession and press on to the Coolmore Classic, although he wouldn’t completely rule it out.

The George Ryder Stakes in two weeks is a more probably option, while the mare is also entered for the Doncaster Mile.

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