Hugh Bowman warmed up for the Melbourne Cup by producing a gem of a ride onboard Koonoomoo to claim the Group Three Herald Sun Stakes at Flemington on Tuesday.
Bowman, who will ride the underrated Mourayan in the Cup later in the day, saved plenty of ground on the rails as Koonoomoo overtook Cabernet and Mid Summer Music in the final stages to take the prize.
"It was a privilege to ride her and obviously it was an awkward barrier but she was aided by a good pace," Bowman said after the race.
"I had plenty of horse under me so I was able to use my options and I got a dream run through and it's a great feeling."
The victory was a good result for bookmakers, with the five-year-old mare unwanted in betting and starting at odds of around $26.
Koonoomoo was one of two outsiders to salute early in proceedings on the Melbourne Cup program, with Kasane getting up at big odds in the TAB Trophy.
Ridden superbly by former Australian jockey Brett Prebble, Kasane outlasted Mabsam and Aliyana to win the $60,000 first prize for connections.
Bookmakers haven't been completely dominating, however, with the winners of the other early races on the program well found by punters.
Favourite Villa Verde took out the first race on the card with Michael Rodd riding, while Darley horse Genteel was the fancied runner when claiming the Schweppes Tonic 1000.Verdant was the third elect when he won the Lavazza Long Black for trainer Robert Smerdon and jockey Dwayne Dunn, while under-fire hoop Damien Oliver booted home Walk With Attitude at odds of $6 in the Lexus Hybrid Plate.
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