Hugh Bowman needs a bit of luck on his side if he is to win a fourth Victoria Derby.
Should he get that, Bowman rates So Si Bon a genuine chance to give him and trainer Robbie Laing a second Derby to go with their success in 2013 with Polanski.
Drawing barrier 11 is “a little awkward”, Bowman admits, particularly as Derby favourite Sacred Elixir has secured the inside barrier for the $1.5 million Flemington Classic.
“What might work against us all is that the favourite has drawn very well and he’s got the tactical speed. He is going to be in a good position,” Bowman said on Friday.
“If I can find a nice position without doing too much work I’m confident this horse will certainly make his presence felt.”
Punters rate So Si Bon as Sacred Elixir’s main threat, after the colt’s third behind the New Zealander in the Vase on a soft Moonee Valley track last Saturday.
Bowman has not ridden So Si Bon on race day, but put the horse through his paces in trackwork on Thursday.
“Just seeing him at the races the last couple of starts he seems to be a little bit of a quirky colt, but when I went down and rode him he’s actually very straightforward.
“He’s got a lot of presence about him.
“I’m going to need a little bit of luck to get the right run but if I do get the right run I think he can win.”
Bowman has won the Victoria Derby three times since 2010 on Lion Tamer, Sangster (2011) and Polanski (2013).
“All three Derbys that I’ve won I’ve had a lot of confidence in the horses that I’ve been on.
“That’s one ingredient that I’ve got this year: I’ve got a lot of confidence in the horse that I’m riding.”
While Bowman is focused on his full book of rides on Saturday, he is still revelling in Winx’s emphatic back-to-back Cox Plate win last Saturday.
“It was a very special performance,” he said after taking the mare to her record eight-length victory.
“I was expecting something special but not in my wildest dreams could I imagine she’d be so dominant against such an amazing field.”
Being involved with Winx has been a dream come true, Bowman said.
“She’s certainly been the highlight of my career.”