Bowman hits the target with Hali

Australian jockey Hugh Bowman landed his most important success on his latest visit to Britain when guiding home Mick Channon's stable stalwart Halicarnassus in the bet365 Old Newton Cup at Haydock today.

Australian jockey Hugh Bowman landed his most important success on his latest visit to Britain when guiding home Mick Channon's stable stalwart Halicarnassus in the bet365 Old Newton Cup at Haydock today.

Bowman, the leading jockey in Sydney, is in this country for six weeks until the Shergar Cup at Ascot next month.

It was a timely success on Halicarnassus, as it came minutes after So You Think, on whom he was unbeaten in two rides in Australia in 2009, won the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

"I was delighted to see him win. He's a superstar horse. There's no doubt the middle-distance horses are superior over here in the way that our sprinters are better," said Bowman of So You Think.

"For him to come over and beat the best here means a lot to me and to everyone involved with the horse and the Australian racing industry."

Bowman also heaped praise on Halicarnassus, saying: "He's a brilliant horse and this win means a lot to me as well.

"I rode him at Ascot when the ground was softer and he's a lot better on this better ground."

The seven-year-old entire is being retired to stud in Turkey, where his owners the Karatas family, are based after he runs in the Bosphorus Cup in Istanbul in September, which he won in 2009.

Halicarnassus (14-1) showed just how much he will be missed at the Channon stables in West Ilsley when he took his earnings to £750,000 (€829,851) with a length and a half win over Bourne. Long-time leader Bowdler's Magic was third and the 11-2 joint-favourite Mount Athos a close-up fourth.

"He's given a lot of people a lot of fun through the years and I'm so proud of him. You don't get a horse like that very often," said Michael Channon junior, the trainer's son and assistant.

"He started off with the late Tim Corby and Box 32 and he's done a lot for everyone.

"He deserves his chance at stud and that's where he's going after the Bosphorus Cup. They need a hard horse out there and they do a good job.

"Hugh's a top man and it's great to have him. We'd love to have him all the time."

Jamie Spencer took the riding honours with a 268-1 treble on Highland Castle (6-1), High Standing (5-2) and Piazza San Pietro (10-1).

The former champion brought the David Elsworth-trained Highland Castle from last to first to take the bet365 Handicap by a length and a half from Swift Alhaarth.

"I wasn't going to run unless they got some rain, but the owners wanted to run," said Elsworth.

"He looked authoritative and I like the horse. We'll see now. I suppose a three-year-old in the Ebor is a tough call, but he's not bad and we'll see what the handicapper does."

High Standing (5-2), trained by William Haggas, registered his first success since May 2010 over this course and distance in the bet365.com Conditions Stakes.

The six-year-old was highly-tried after his 2009 Wokingham victory, and was suited by the race conditions to come home three-quarters of a length in front of Atlantic Sport.

"He was entitled to win that. William said he was in great form and the horse was bucking and kicking going to the start, so I knew he was," said Spencer.

Backers of Vita Nova were left cursing their luck after the saddle slipped on the Henry Cecil-trained odds-on favourite in the bet365 Lancashire Oaks.

Her rider Tom Queally performed heroics to stay on board and somehow get the filly home into second place, a length and a quarter behind the John Gosden-trained Gertrude Bell (9-2).

Queally's heroics were rewarded with the runner-up spot, a neck ahead of Dorcas Lane.

"She would prefer cut as she hits the ground hard," said winning rider William Buick.

"She's won this because she stays well and she's a Group Two winner now."

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