THE boy from Dunedoo who apprenticed at Bathurst and went on to officially become the world’s number one jockey.
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What a journey it’s been for Hugh Bowman.
With a sublime winning ride aboard Cheval Grand in Sunday’s Japan Cup the humble hoop secured his place at the top of the Longines World’s Best Joockey rankings – taking the prize previously won by only Frankie Dettori and Ryan Moore.
Cheval Grand gallantly chased down favourite Kitasan Black over the final 200m to give Bowman Group 1 victories across three different countries this year.
It was a perfect ride from Bowman who helped Cheval Grand improve on a third place finish in the 2016 edition.
Bowman won the top jockey prize courtesy of winning 10 of the world’s top 100 races.
Six of those came on legendary mare Winx. The most notable success in that collection of wins was her third straight Cox Plate triumph.
Bowman also picked up three wins in Hong Kong thanks to champion gelding Werther (in the Hong Kong Champions & Chater Cup and The Bochk Jockey Club Cup) and Lucky Bubbles (Chairman’s Sprint Prize).
A remarkable 2017 for Bowman now includes 16 Group 1 wins and a Sydney Jockey’s Premiership.
Bowman played down his number one ranking following his Japan Cup ride.
"I don't really feel that [I'm the best jockey in the world]. If you take the top five or 10 per cent of jockeys from around the world, I personally don't think one is much better than the other,” he said.
"It's more circumstantial in obviously the horses you are riding, the conditions you are riding in.
"I take great pride in the fact I've been able to achieve success in different parts of the world but I don't see that it makes me a better jockey than the people I'm riding against.
"Realistically, I don't see myself as better than the people I'm riding against, I just have better opportunities and I'm very thankful for it."
Only Moore, on board Idaho, could have prevented Bowman from winning the jockey’s title in the Japan Cup.
He finished fifth.
Bowman is currently on a short term contract to ride in Japan until Christmas.
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