Bowman in demand despite change in plans

Sydney premiership leader Hugh Bowman has been booked for eight Rosehill rides on Saturday despite initially thinking he’d be headed to Perth.

Bowman was engaged to ride Gathering in the Kingston Town Classic but the Patinack Farm team decided against a start for the Railway Stakes winner, paving the way for Bowman to remain in Sydney.

Among his Rosehill rides is Strat’s Flyer in the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m).

Bowman has been in rare form recently with a Group One double during the week-long Flemington carnival and he sits two wins ahead of Corey Brown at the top of the Sydney jockeys’ premiership.

The Festival Stakes will be without 2008 winner Voice Commander.

Voice Commander is among the nominations but trainer Nick Olive said the prospect of a rain-affected surface had forced a rethink.

Olive said he made the decision on Tuesday to instead look for an easier race next week at Rosehill.

Voice Commander gave Olive his first stakes success in winning the 2008 edition of the Festival.

A last-start fourth in the Goulburn Cup (1600m) has Olive convinced Voice Commander is close to top form.

“He just needs everything going right for him, and I think the race the week after will be a more winnable race,” he said.

Voice Commander has won eight of his 31 starts with seven on them coming on good rated tracks and the other on a dead surface.

Olive had also considered a Canberra Cup (2000m) start for the local galloper, which was run on Sunday, but decided against it.

“It was tempting but just the rain that was forecast turned me off that,” Olive said.

While the trainer is prepared to wait another week with Voice Commander, he said he was strongly considering backing-up three-year-old filly Capital Commander in Sunday’s Magic Millions Wyong 3YO Stakes (1200m).

Capital Commander was labelled the most promising raced horse in the stable by Olive after she scored an 8-1/2-length win at Canberra on Sunday.

“I’m starting to warm to taking her there (to Wyong), she pulled up sensational from the weekend,” Olive said.

“She’s rock-hard fit and it’s probably going to be wet there as well so it’s probably a good chance to test her.”

The daughter of Commands has won three in a row this campaign with her past two wins at Gundagai and then Canberra being by big margins.