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By Graham Potter | Sunday, December 3, 2017

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

Hugh Bowman’s stellar year has earned him the title of 2017 Longines World’s Best Jockey.

All credit to him.

This individual rider contest takes into account results obtained in the world’s top 100 Group 1 (or Grade 1) races for a twelve month period ... from December 1 of the previous year to November 30 of the current year.

Jockeys are allocated a sliding scale of points for finishing in the top three in these races. The winner gets twelve points, second gets six points and third placing scores four points.

Bowman’s total of 142 points eclipsed all others and pushed the likes of world renowned riders such as Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori back into second and third place respectively.

Bowmen won no less than ten of those 100 races and, while the mighty mare Winx contributed six of those Group 1’s, Bowman had to step out onto the international stage to be able to set up and then clinch what was an historic achievement as Bowman is the first Australian to land the ‘world’s best’ jockey title.

Three wins in Hong Kong coupled with his fabulous run on Winx meant he was in position to claim the title when he travelled to Japan last week to ride in the Japan Cup.

Only Ryan Moore stood in Bowman’s way but he was playing catch up which meant that Bowman only had to beat Moore home to secure the title.

The win in the Japan Cup, which he achieved with aplomb, therefore had double meaning for Bowman and it rounded off a remarkable period for the rider who has taken his already substantial standing to new heights.

In the process he has lifted the profile of Australian racing as its shares in the glow of his positive, worldwide publicity.

Of course you have to have to ride good horses to be able to achieve those results but you still have to get them home and Bowman has consistently been a punters friend in this regard.

The fact that Bowman was humble in his response as to how he felt about the honour made a good story even better.

Australia can be very proud of one of its top sportsman!

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