If we consider what happened in January 2007, it makes us feel that Bowman was lucky when he was tossed off the Performer during the Todman Stakes. In 2007, Damien Murphy, an ambitious young man who Hugh met when riding in Curray moved from his home to Australia to go and enjoy the sport but ended up losing his life.
The young Murphy was riding in Wellington when his horse clipped the heels of one of the runners close to the finish line tossing Murphy off. Unfortunately, the young jockey never opened his eyes. Murphy was airlifted to Nepean Hospital after the incident and remained on the life support machine waiting for his immediate family members to arrive and bid him goodbye. Bowman was allowed into the room to see Murphy as he clung to life. In fact, the only two men were allowed into the room were V’landys and Bowman. V’landys said that it was terrifying to see Murphy on a life support machine. Because of that incident, he said that his heart was in the mouth when Hugh was tossed off at Randwick. He added that all he thought about at that moment was Bowman’s daughters and wife.
He admits that after the incidents, the worst thoughts went through his head. According to him, Hugh as a cool man who was mostly indestructible. Seeing him on the ground really shocked him. Having been with him during Damien’s fall, rekindled the old memories. It also reminded him that falling off was part of the dangers of the occupation even though he did not expect it to happen to Bowman.
That aside, Bowman will be out riding Winx after passing the cognitive test. Winx will be part of the contestants lined up for the 1500m Ryder Stakes. Winx is expected to hunt her 24th straight win. Also, it is important to remember that Bowman will once again ride performer, the same horse that sidelined him for two weeks. The Performer is considered the favorite in the 1200m Golden Slipper. Bowman has never won the Golden Slipper but came close in 2007 to secure the third position when riding Meurice.
Even though Bowman is not desperate to win the Slipper race, he has said that he will try to win the race. He admits that he is a conservative rider who does not take the risks the way other riders do. He is 37 years and he is planning to bring his career to the end because of his weight and the dangers that come with the sport.