Winx jockey Hugh Bowman banned for six weeks over horrific race fall

Horse Racing Hugh Bowman jockey
Hugh Bowman: top jockey banned for six months for careless riding. Photo: Racing and Sports

By Jon Lees

Australia: Winx’s rider Hugh Bowman has been hit with a six-week ban for his part in a controverisal incident in which another jockey was hospitalised with serious injuries and a horse put down.

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Bowman, best-known for his association with the legendary racemare who won a world record 25 G1 races, was aboard favourite Smart Image in the first race at Rosehill on Saturday when he angled out for a run 300 metres out which resulted in Hot ‘N’ Hazy taking a crashing fall.

Hot ‘N’ Hazy’s jockey Andrew Adkins suffered a collapsed lung, broke seven ribs, two bones in his leg and his collarbone. Hot ‘N’ Hazy, a two-year-old described by trainer Danny Williams as his best horse in a decade, sustained a catastrophic injury to his near-fore and was put down. 

Racing NSW stewards convened an inquiry immediately after the race but adjourned the hearing until Thursday with Adkins, who remains in hospital, agreeing it could take place without him having to give evidence.

Bowman was found guilty of careless riding, having made his manoeuvre around leader Mr Colorful when there was insufficient room. However, the panel concluded that Mr Colorful had also shifted outwards, adding to the severity of the incident. Bowman had denied the charge. The ban begins immediately and expires on September 11.

Bowman released a statement wishing Adkins a speedy recovery and offered condolences to Williams and connections of Hot ‘N’ Hazy.

“I have spoken to Andrew to convey how sorry I was for the accident, and he was in good spirits after his operation which was very pleasing and reassuring to hear,” he said.

He added: “Jockeys are required to make split-second decisions under enormous pressure, and sometimes we make the wrong decision.”

Adkins, 22, underwent surgery at Westmead Hospital in Sydney on Sunday when doctors inserted a rod in in his tibia and fitted a plate on his clavicle. He was also fitted with a chest drain due to a pneumothorax from his fractured ribs.

Bowman, 40, was on his first ride in Sydney since taking a month-long break from racing. He went on to win the race on Smart Image, ending the day with three winners on the card.

In other fallout from the race it has emerged that Sunborn, a filly who was nearly brought down by Hot ‘N’ Hazy, is facing six months out of action after undergoing surgery for a fractured splint bone.

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