Muswellbrook trainer Jan Bowen is aiming to win Tuesday’s Muswellbrook Coal Bowman Sprint (900m) on her home track for the second consecutive year – with the same jockey but a different horse.
And, for a number of reasons, it’s a safe bet there will be no shortage of emotion afterwards either if her mare Emilette (Mikayla Weir) is first home in the feature event at Muswellbrook Race Club’s Melbourne Cup day meeting.
Bowen, who teamed with Weir to land last year’s Sprint with another mare Iamacrumpet, revealed Emilette was almost retired to stud instead of racing on this season.
“The kids love Harry Angel (the highly-rated English horse who won five of his 12 starts, including two Group 1s and stands for Darley in Australia), and we nearly retired Emilette and sent her to be mated with him,” she explained.
“She had a small tendon tear at one stage and had a long time off, but we decided to keep her in work for another season before going to stud.
“Emilette is going really well and has come on nicely since her first-up Randwick run three weeks ago when she showed her usual pace and knocked up at the end.
“That was her first start since late April, and she has definitely taken improvement from it.
“Emilette performs really well on her home track, where three of her four wins to date have come from.
“She can either lead or take a sit from an inside draw, and I feel she has a very good chance on Tuesday.”
Bowen, who now has her grandson Justin Bowen also training and is understandably proud of his achievements so far, has prepared a generation of horses from the same family as Emilette.
“It goes back to Red Smokey, who was a fast horse and won 13 races for us,” she said.
“His older half-sister, She’s A Smokey, produced She’s A Success, who in turn produced horses such as Lucky Night (by Sir Laurence), who won nine races, including The Shorts at Randwick in 2003 on a heavy track when it carried Group 3 status and the Hurricane Quality (900m) at Newcastle on three occasions.
“She also produced Lucky Night’s full sister Eminent Lady, who won a race for us from only a few starts, and her first foal was Eminent Duke, who also won the Hurricane at Newcastle in 2015 and another five races.
“Eminent Lady produced three foals, but had foaling difficulties and was never the same after her last foal Emilette and died two years ago.
“It has been a wonderful generation, and we will be looking to Emilette to carry that on when she goes to stud.”
Aside from winning last year’s Bowman Sprint with Iamacrumpet ($8.50), Bowen also saddled runner-up Roman Typhoon ($3 favorite) the previous year and had third placegetter Eminent Duke ($5.50) in 2017.
Newcastle jockey Aaron Bullock has won two of the five runnings of the Bowman Sprint since the annual Muswellbrook Gold Cup (now held in autumn) meeting was shifted away from its traditional Melbourne Cup date in 2016.
He won the inaugural running that year on Run Cannon Run, and also the 2019 renewal on Gosford-trained beautifully-named Clear The Beach (by Sharkbite), who defeated Bowen’s Roman Typhoon.
Bullock partners Kookabaa on Tuesday for Gulgong trainer Brett Thompson.
The seven-race Muswellbrook card begins at 1.14pm and concludes with the Sprint at 5.52pm.
The Bowman Sprint is named after the late Hunter Bowman, one of the State’s best known turf identities of his time, who successfully raced many horses and was past president of both the Muswellbrook club and the then Upper Hunter Amateur Race Club.