Hugh Bowman and Chris Waller will join forces in three Group One races at Rosehill, including the George Ryder with Winx, but the champion jockey and trainer will be in rival camps when they each chase a first Golden Slipper.
Along with champion Winx, Bowman will ride Dealmaker for Waller in the Rosehill Guineas and Unforgotten in the Ranvet Stakes before jumping aboard the James Cummings-trained Godolphin colt Microphone for the $3.5 million Golden Slipper (1200m).
Waller’s chances of a first Slipper rest with Todman Stakes winner Yes Yes Yes, to be ridden by Blake Shinn.
Bowman, who last weekend won the Hong Kong Derby on Furore to take his Group One tally to 89, has ridden in the Golden Slipper 14 times with his best result a third on Meurice in 2007.
Microphone has emerged as one of the leading chances with dominant wins in the Talindert Stakes in Melbourne and Skyline Stakes in Sydney in his past two starts with James McDonald aboard.
Bowman rides Microphone in a race for the first time on Saturday with McDonald aboard the colt’s stablemate, unbeaten filly Tenley.
“I actually went out to Agnes Banks and rode Microphone on Tuesday morning and he galloped really well,” Bowman said.
“There was a bit of moisture in the ground and I was pleased with how he went through it.
“He worked in company but there’s going to be a lot more pressure in this race on Saturday, obviously.”
Bowman believes barrier one is an advantage for Microphone.
“Even if the fence isn’t the place to be I still think it’s a significant advantage from the 1200-metre start at Rosehill to be on the inside in the first two thirds of the race,” he said.
“I’m confident he’s going to go into the race and run very well. I think it’s a very open race.”
In contrast to Microphone, the Waller-trained Todman Stakes winner Yes Yes Yes has to overcome the outside barrier but his trainer believes if the colt can get the right luck he is the right horse for the race.
“It’s a challenging barrier but he’s a very good horse,” Waller said.
“We’ll treat that draw with respect and try to work out a way that he can save a bit of ground and still have good strong legs over the last 200 metres.
“I think if anything a softer track could be an advantage because barrier draws might not be quite as important and I don’t think he’ll have a problem in it.”