A tactically brilliant front-running ride gave Hugh Bowman his second Group 1 win of the afternoon when he got home on the Anthony Cummings-trained Fiveandahalfstar in the $2,250,000 Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Fiveandahalfstar holds rivals at bay, picture Sportpix.com.au
Bowman earlier won the group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes on the Bart Cummings-trained Norzita (NZ) which not only gave him a race-to-race group 1 double but also gave one to the Cummings family.
Fiveandahalfstar was run down late in the Ranvet Stakes last time out then was scratched from the Rosehill Guineas so he could target The BMW. The win now sets up a much awaited clash between Fiveandahalfstar and kiwi galloper It’s A Dundeel (NZ).
Ridden by Hugh Bowman, Fiveandahalfstar set the tempo through the mile and a half event with Bowman dictating to suit.
Little changed until approaching the 700m when Nash Rawiller set Kelinni (IRE) alight and put speed into the race. Kelinni and Fiveandahalfstar went together well into the straight with the Cummings galloper holding an advantage throughout.
When he eventually dropped Kelinni, he was then challenged Silent Achiever (NZ) along the inside but again Fiveandahalfstar fought on and did enough to win.
The official margins were a head to Silent Achiever with a length to Sangster (NZ) who just nosed out Kelinni in fourth. The overall time was 2.33.79 with the last 600m run in 35.11.
“Hughy judged it right, got the speed right, found the fast lane and the horse did the rest,” Cummings said. “It is a great result and great effort from the family.
“Peter didn’t do a whole lot wrong last time but there were some significant things that happened in the race that we had a chat about after.
“At the end of the day the ownership group wasn’t satisfied and opted for a change and that was to Hughy’s benefit.
“He came out for work on the Friday morning (before the Derby) and at that stage I was still mulling over and thought I was going to wait til Saturday but he just looked right and I galloped him on the Friday morning and he worked really well.
“Hugh rode him on Sunday and Tuesday and was really impressed.”
Winning smiles, picture Sportpix.com.au
“I have been on him a couple times this week but I have ridden him in a race when he was younger but he has obviously matured a lot since then,” Bowman said. “I am pleased I did ride him during the week because he covers the ground really well with his action.”
“He can be deceiving, he picks up and you don’t think you picked up so he is not the easiest horse to judge pace wide but I was pretty confident from the 1400m I felt I was really in control.”
“I was just starting to build about 100m prior to that I wasn’t building quite as quickly as Nash was but he did pour the pressure on.”
“This horse is not a sit and sprint type I just held onto him and let him get through his gears and you saw him fight when Silent Achiever came up his inside, it’s a great feeling and a privilege.”
“He will go around next week and he will do it again.”
Fiveandahalfstars is by Hotel Grand out of the Snippets mare Cryptic Miss and is owned by Anthony Cummings Thoroughbreds P/L Synd (Mgr: A Cummings), J Cuvelier, Ms S Wong, H Dyball & Bangaloe Stud Synd (Mgr: Miss J Ritchie).
Photofinish, by ATC