Bowman out to go one better in Cup

For a fleeting moment Hugh Bowman thought last year’s Caulfield Cup was his.

The top Sydney jockey, having his first ride in the $2.5 million race, was on the Bart Cummings-trained Roman Emperor and they hit the front halfway down the straight in the famous 2400m handicap.

“I thought I had it, to be honest,” Bowman said when reflecting on last year’s experience.

“But when I went to the front and pushed the button he only found a length … I thought I had three up my sleeve.”

It took the previous season’s Melbourne Cup winner, the ill-fated Cummings-trained Viewed, to deny Bowman and Roman Emperor with Brad Rawiller producing a brilliant rails ride to finish 2-1/4 lengths ahead at the post.

Bowman returns to Caulfield on Saturday with a great chance to go one better when he partners Metal Bender from an inside draw.

He believes the multiple Group One winner is an ideal Caulfield Cup horse.

The five-year-old has barrier two in the field of 18 plus four emergencies but will begin from the rails should second reserve Red Ruler miss a start.

“I’m rapt with that because he will have horses on his outside into the first turn to help him get onto his Melbourne leg,” Bowman said.

Metal Bender has been in Melbourne for more than a month with his two Victorian lead-ups being a third to So You Think in the Underwood Stakes (1800m) and an eye-catching fourth to Zipping in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m).

“His preparation has been excellent,” Bowman said.

“He won first-up (in the Group Two Warwick Stakes) and was a little bit dour after that.

“His runs have all been good, particularly in the Turnbull. He’s coming along at the right time.”