Hugh Bowman has ridden Farnan to victory in the prestigious Golden Slipper, as Saturday’s race meeting at Sydney’s Rosehill Gardens went ahead under a public lock-out.
- Racegoers were barred from Rosehill Gardens in western Sydney as a result of the coronavirus outbreak
- Hugh Bowman guided Farnan to a Golden Slipper triumph in front of empty grandstands
- Australia is one of several jurisdictions continuing to hold horse racing meetings
Bowman won his first Golden Slipper in front of empty grandstands, with the meeting — featuring five Group One races — serving as a test of the biosecurity protocols surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
Australia is one of several jurisdictions continuing to race, albeit behind closed doors and with essential personnel only.
The racing industry employs thousands of people on minimum wages and all efforts are being made to keep it afloat.
Bowman, who reached great heights as a jockey on board Winx, admitted the lack of a crowd had added to a different feeling at Rosehill.
“There is a lack of atmosphere, as we can all see,” Bowman said.
“But I can assure you it takes nothing away from the win for me. Once you are out on the track it is business as usual.”
Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak
It is a record seventh Golden Slipper win for Gai Waterhouse, who trained Farnan alongside Adrian Bott.
Waterhouse has now trained more Golden Slipper winners than her late father TJ Smith.
“She’s [Waterhouse] an amazing human being,” Bowman said.
“What she has done for racing over the last four decades is amazing.”
Racing is set to return to Rosehill next weekend before moving to Randwick for the rich Championships on April 4 and 11.