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Bowman ponders former glories

Blessed to have the dream ride on super-mare Winx for the foreseeable future, Hugh Bowman also showed an appreciation for the past when he guided Zanbagh to back-to-back Emancipation Stakes triumphs at Rosehill.

Sporting the red and white silks long associated with the Tait family, Bowman wound back the clock as the six-year-old mare pipped Daysee Doom ($3.10) by a head to score the historically significant race.

“It’s great to win this race in honour of Emancipation, a great mare that my old boss Ron Quinton used to ride,” Bowman said before sympathising with the jockey-turned-trainer after Dixie Blossoms ($3.40) placed third.

“I knocked him off today but that’s racing,” Bowman said after Zanbagh set herself up for the $1 million Queen of the Turf (1600m) at Randwick on April 8.

“This mare deserves the win. I remember her being favourite for the Oaks years ago when Guy Walter trained her.”

Walter – who trained 13-time Group One winner Tie The Knot for the Taits – died in 2014 so the win was especially poignant for Bowman, a longtime friend.

“I’ve had a great deal of success in these colours. It’s been a while since I’ve worn them and I do wear them with pride. It’s just lovely to win for the Tait family.”

Thompson credited Bowman for following instructions to the letter.

“The only thing I said to Hugh is if we could be closer, it’d be nice. She won’t pull so just be as close as you can without being silly. She had been getting back in her races,” he said.

Once the race strategy was formulated, Thompson never doubted Zanbagh ($7.50) would plough through a heavy 9.

“She gets through it well. That was the key, being within striking distance. You knew she was going to be the strongest late. She always is.”

After the fifth race of a preparation that included a second in the Guy Walter Stakes on February 25, Thompson said Zanbagh was perfectly suited for the Queen of the Turf, especially if Sydney’s poor weather continued.

He also hoped stablemate First Seal would also vie for the crown.

The five-year-old mare ramped up her preparations with a third in the Group Two Sunline Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

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