Hugh Bowman aboard Tiberian (left), working with Garcia (Image: Racing Photos)
Hugh Bowman rode the imported Tiberian in his work at Werribee on Tuesday but he will not be hurried into making a decision on an Emirates Melbourne Cup ride.
Bowman has chosen the Prix Kergorlay winner Marmelo as his Caulfield Cup mount and he said on Tuesday morning that, to be fair, he had to wait until that horse competed on Saturday week before aligning himself with one horse in the big one at Flemington.
"I'll wait for the barrier draw if I can," Bowman quipped. "But I want to be fair to everything and obviously I am riding Marmelo in the Caulfield Cup so I'd be very reluctant to make any commitments prior to that because I wouldn't see that as being very fair to those connections."
Tiberian is the third import Bowman has tried out after partnering Red Cardinal and Marmelo over the past week.
As he is unwilling yet to commit to an Emirates Melbourne Cup mount, Red Cardinal's owners Australian Bloodstock moved swiftly to gain the services of one of the world's most famous riders, Ryan Moore for 'the race that stops a nation'.
Darren Dance's Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock part-owns Tiberian and he must make a decision on whether to pursue another jockey for the Emirates Melbourne Cup or wait and see what Marmelo delivers at Caulfield in the hope that Bowman might want to switch.
Dance was at Werribee on Tuesday to watch the work of Tiberian and he said he could not be more pleased with where he's at 28 days out from the EmiratesMelbourne Cup.
"He's really settled in well," Dance said. "For a horse that's never travelled before, he's really travelled wonderfully well. He's such a relaxed horse for a colt."
Dance's syndicate went so close to Emirates Melbourne Cup success last year when Heartbreak City ran second to Almandin, and he said he rated Tiberian on par if not potentially better.
"They are both such relaxed animals," he said. "I always thought he had equal ability with Heartbreak City, if not even more upside."
Dance said everything needed to go right for him to collect the Emirates Melbourne Cup this year but added that nothing had yet gone wrong.
"It's almost impossible to win the thing, but at the moment as we go along, I can't fault anything and I just hope our luck holds," he said.
As for Bowman, he said Tiberian had shown himself to be a quality horse after his first ride on him.
"I was very pleased with him," Bowman said. "He has obviously travelled over well.
"I haven't really had a good look at his races yet because I didn't want to have a pre-conceived idea of what I might feel.
"The reality is he's a pretty similar type of horse to Red Cardinal and Marmelo, who I've already partnered. I did similar work on Tiberian this morning that I did on the others earlier in the week.
"So, it's hard to pick one from the other from what I've felt so far.
"I'm not looking for some magical sign that 'this one is going to win the Cup'. That just doesn't happen. It's the one per-centers that will be the difference between winning and losing.
"I'm not a magician and just say 'You've got your Cup winner here'. Not from one feel. It's a process of getting an understanding of their temperament, how they have travelled over. The level of confidence in the camp.
"He's certainly a pretty casual customer and he had the opportunity to work with a mate (Garcia) this morning and I was very pleased with the enthusiasm when he came up alongside me so, a good sign.
"He did what you consider a working gallop from about the 2000. From the 800 I let him go at a nice working gallop at a little better than evens.
"What I want is a horse that has a good turn of foot. Obviously a horse that can appreciate the top of the ground because the reality is we'll be racing on a firm track or at least a firmer track than these horses are used to."