By Glenn Davis
The world’s best jockey Hugh Bowman will be chasing a slice of Magic Millions Classic history when he partners Jonker in the $2 million feature at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Bowman is best known around the world as the rider of champion mare Winx, having partnered her in 21 of her 26 wins.
However, Bowman can etch his name in Magic Millions history alongside former champion Queensland jockeys Mick Dittman and Chris Munce if Jonker is successful.
Dittman and Munce won the Magic Millions Classic a record three times during their illustrious careers and Bowman aims to join them with his third win on Jonker.
Bowman claimed his first Magic Millions Classic on Bradbury’s Luck in 2005 before Mime Lebrock was successful in 2007.
Dittman’s three wins were aboard Bold Promise who won the race twice in 1991 when it was conducted in two divisions, one for fillies and another mixed sex race, and General Nediym in 1997.
Munce won the Magic Millions aboard Sunblazer (1989), Excellerator (2001), Dance Hero (2004).
Jonker had drawn perfectly in barrier three and sits on the third line of betting at $4.60 with UBET behind $4.00 favourite Sunlight with EF Troop separating the pair at $4.20.
Bowman has never ridden Jonker but was impressed when he rode the Spirit Of Boom colt in a track gallop at the Gold Coast this week.
Bowman controversially replaced Aaron Bullock who rode Jonker in his two wins at Newcastle on December 3 and in the Listed Magic Millions at Wyong on December 21.
Jonker is part-owned by Doug Crich who paid $45,000 for him as a yearling, partly due to his dam Hearts and Arrows.
Hearts And Arrows only raced three times for two Victorian wins but is a member of the famous Eight Carat family.
"He’s from the Eight Carat family and I bought him on that rather than the stallion," Crich said.
Spirit Of Boom has four of his progeny in the full Magic Millions Classic field.
Crich, who was involved in the jewellery business, named Jonker after a diamond.
“Mouawad is in his family and is named after a diamond and so is Jonker which was a very large diamond found in 1934,” Crich said.
Mouawad won three times at the highest level from only eight starts before being retired to stud where he suffered infertility problems.
Racing Queensland webnews January 12