Hugh Bowman with the Cox Plate (Image: Racing Photos)
Hugh Bowman's tick of approval to travel to Victoria will be for a hit-and-run mission for a fifth Cox Plate, with six days of quarantine or isolation on either side of the race day ruling out any potential ride in the Melbourne Cup.
Bowman, Glen Boss and James McDonald will all travel to Melbourne from Sydney on Sunday and isolate in order to ride in the weight-for-age championship of Australasia on October 23, with fellow Sydney-based hoops Kerrin McEvoy and Rachael King to follow a week later for Melbourne Cup rides.
"I think it's a good sign for society to be honest," Bowman said of his permit approval.
"I had no intention of coming to Melbourne, for obvious reasons, but when I was offered the ride on Mo'unga, I thought 'Well, what are my options in terms of getting down there'?
"The other guys had already been asking the questions and going through the protocols necessary to try and get down, so I just got on the back end of negotiations and here we are."
The jockeys will be forced to undergo a series of protocols upon arrival in Victoria, including six days of quarantine and numerous COVID-19 tests, in order to take their place in the race at The Valley.
"We were asking months ago whether we would be able to go and there was a lot of uncertainty, for obvious reasons, and none of us really knew what the outcome would be, but we're pleased that we can now get on with what happens," Bowman said.
A four-time winner of the Cox Plate aboard Winx, Bowman will return to Sydney almost immediately after the race and isolate again upon arrival in order to ride in the $7.5 million Golden Eagle at Rosehill on October 30.
"That rules out the Melbourne Cup and whilst I could return for the final day of the carnival, that would be a bit much and I won't be doing that," he said.
"The Melbourne Cup weights are really against me this year and I wasn't in a position to really actively look for rides because I didn't know what the situation was going to be."
Bowman and co. will head to Victoria after completing their respective books of rides at Randwick's Everest meeting on Saturday.