Champ jockey’s regal ride ahead of Magic race day

THE world's best jockey galloped along the sand today carrying the Queen's Baton for its first time on the Gold Coast ahead of this year's Commonwealth Games.

Hugh Bowman carried the baton during the traditional gallop along the Surfer's Paradise foreshore ahead of the Barrier draw for the Magic Millions two big $2 million races on Saturday.

The Sydney jockey, who has had massive success on unbeaten super mare Winx, said he carried the Queen's baton with "a great sense of pride as an Australian".

 

 

Champion jockey Hugh Bowman holds the Queen’s baton aloft as he rides along Surfers. Picture: Tim Marsden
Champion jockey Hugh Bowman holds the Queen’s baton aloft as he rides along Surfers. Picture: Tim Marsden

 

He led a cavalcade of Australia's best riding talent including, Corey Brown, Tye Angland, Brenton Avdulla and Kathy O'Hara, in the early morning surf side gallop.

"It's easy to win the race when everyone is told to stay behind you," he joked.

A Magic Millions spokeswoman said the event had become a must-do for Australian jockeys.

"We used to have to call them to check availability but now they are calling us and asking to ride. It has become a must-do on the list of achievements for Australian jockeys," she said.

Bowman said: "It's a great honour to be involved in carrying the baton. For the Magic Millions to be a part of the Commonwealth Games like this is very fitting."

After the Queen's Baton was paraded along the beach the jockeys regrouped for their annual race along the sand - this time with Argentinian polo player Ignacio 'Nacho' Figueras taking part.

"I have never raced against the best jockey in the world but I am confident," joked Nacho before the ride against Hugh Bowman and some of Australia's best jockeys.

Among the more than 9000 people watching the early morning gallop was former Miss World Australia Erin Holland.

"What an amazing spectacle," she said. "It was stunning to behold."

Holland, 28, is in Queensland for the Moet and Chandon Magic Millions launch party, which kicks off the yearling sales that last year turned over $145 million in sales from buyers from all over the world.


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