Hugh Bowman has defended his actions after copping heat for a fall at Rosehill on Saturday that saw a jockey hospitalised and his horse euthanised.
Andrew Adkins was taken to Westmead Hospital following the sickening fall that marred the opening race at Rosehill.
‘MADNESS’: Punters stunned by four-horse photo finish
‘BIG SHOCK’: Racing rocked by champion jockey's death at 34
Adkins was aboard the Danny Williams-trained Hot 'N' Hazy who appeared to run out of room in the straight and crashed to the turf.
The colt, who Williams this week rated his best horse in a decade, suffered a broken shoulder and was treated by vets on course but was unable to be saved.
Adkins was attended to by paramedics and racing officials confirmed he had regained consciousness and was talking to medical staff.
Several jockeys, including Tommy Berry and Robbie Dolan, rushed on to the track post-race to be by Adkins’ side.
Champion jockey Bowman was heavily criticised in the aftermath, with many pointing the finger of blame at the Winx jockey.
But Bowman has since hit back.
“I endeavoured to make a run to the outside of Glyn Schofield (Mr Colourful), which I had every right to and, in doing so, I was going to have to move Andrew slightly but I felt that I was able to do so,” Bowman reportedly told stewards.
“There was a shift by the horse in front of me (Mr Colourful) and I was committed to the move that I made.
“I felt at the time I made the call to go to the outside of Glyn I could do so without causing any interference to Andrew.”
Fairfax racing journalist Adam Pengilly also defended Bowman, calling some of the criticism “poor”.
“It’s hard to sugar-coat it, it’s doesn’t look great. It looked like a bad error of judgment from Hugh ... but what I will say is jockeys have to make so many split-second decisions in a race and Hugh has been racing for many, many years,” Pengilly said on the Big Sports Breakfast.
“Potentially he’s made a very bad one here. I’d like to see other people see the head-on vision to get a full picture of what happened, there might have been extenuating circumstances.
“... let’s just keep in mind Hugh Bowman is going to be affected by this as well. He went home from the races on Saturday night probably feeling extremely, extremely bad about himself.
“I was told that he spoke to Andrew Adkins on Saturday night. He’s not the type of the guy that goes to the races trying to cause carnage and damage to other riders or horses.
“He might have potentially made a bad mistake here ... but some of that social media commentary I saw on the weekend was pretty poor, it must be said.”
Sickening fall in the first at Rosehill. Hope Jockey Andrew Adkins is ok. Hugh Bowman won’t want to watch that replay again. Not good. @SEN_track— Campbell brown (@Browndogg_30x) July 25, 2020
Hugh Bowman should be sent home after that! Not fit to ride the rest of the program IMHO. Needs to be put out for a very long time especially if the owners have lost their horse as a result.— Punter Dave (@PunterDave888) July 25, 2020
Hugh Bowman ... how many months?— loveapunt (@loveapunt) July 25, 2020
Horrible watch & dead set dangerous.
Obviously Hugh bowman didn’t mean what happened today, jockeys try and take the gap every single time and today’s choice of riding didn’t work out, jockeys risk there lives everytime they jump on a horse, feel for all jockeys and connections of the horse trainer and owners.— Corbin Sutherland (@oompy17) July 25, 2020
Andrew Adkins suffers multiple fractures
Adkins was transported to Westmead Hospital and Racing NSW's Dr Duckworth later confirmed the jockey had fractured his tibia and fibula.
He also suffered seven rub fractures and a fractured clavicle which will require a plate. Surgery is scheduled for Sunday.
Adkins has endured a horror run of luck over the past 18 months, breaking several bones in a race fall at Randwick during the 2019 The Championships.
He suffered a broken wrist late last year in an accident at home and again broke a wrist in a barrier trial mishap in March.
Saturday's Sky Racing Active Handicap (1200m) was was won by Bowman's mount Smart Image, who remains unbeaten from two starts.
The horse was among several involved in the scrimmage which resulted in Adkins' fall.
Co-trainer Peter Snowden watched the race from home and said there was little joy in the win in light of the drama that unfolded.
“Smart Image looked the winner a long way from home,” Snowden said.
“He was travelling so well, probably too well. Hughie didn't know whether to go out or in. I wish to God he had gone in.”
Snowden said he felt for Adkins, whose awful run of injuries had been out of the jockey's control.
“All those falls Andrew has been involved in, he has not caused one of them,” Snowden said.
“He's not a reckless jockey, he has just been terribly unlucky.”
Stewards opened an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the fall but it has been adjourned until Adkins is able to attend.