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Winx comeback could be delayed after Bowman loses appeal

Hugh Bowman: lost his appeal against a careless riding ban issued at Warwick Farm
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Winx's return to action is under review after regular jockey Hugh Bowman failed in his appeal against a ban that rules him out of partnering the wondermare in the Apollo Stakes on February 17.

Bowman attempted to get a reduction to a seven-meeting careless riding ban issued at Warwick Farm but the Racing NSW appeal panel upheld the decision, leaving the rider to consider whether to appeal against a similar ban incurred in New Zealand.

The Longines 2017 World's Best Jockey has been in the saddle for 20 victories in Winx's 22-race winning streak, but the back-to-back suspensions would sideline him until February 22 and a range of options will now be considered by connections.

After Winx finished fifth behind leading sprinter Redzel in her second barrier trial on Monday morning, Waller indicated he might alter her programme.

"Do we need to risk another jockey? Does she need to race in the Apollo?" he said. "We've seen before she races well fresh. She can space her races. You can do whatever you like with her really."

Winx's return could be delayed until the Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick on March 3 or there is the less likely option of going to Melbourne for the Futurity Stakes on February 24. Waller is expected to make an announcement about her comeback on Tuesday.

At the 1000m trial at Rosehill, Winx was settled forward of mid-division by Bowman before doing her best work late to finish four lengths behind Redzel, who clocked 58.2s and looked bang on course for the Black Caviar Lightning at Flemington on February 17.

Of Winx's work, Waller said: "This morning we asked her to do a little bit more than her first trial. I've just spoken to Hugh Bowman and he was very happy with the way she went through her paces.

"She's all ready to go. Just the normal two trials. . . she looks just the same as she did this time last year or, more importantly, this time last preparation."


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Do we need to risk another jockey? Does she need to race in the Apollo?
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