Buy me a beer award… By Tommy from Campbelltown

Buy me a beer award… By Tommy from Campbelltown

Hi Fans and Punters,

What a great day’s racing it was yesterday and as usual, I was right in the thick of the action searching for a winner of my time honoured Award.

The track staff at Randwick did a wonderful job getting the track ready after a deluge in Sydney that saw Noah and his Ark sailing down Pitt Street. The meeting went ahead on a heavy 10 but the racing was great.

But the real class was at Doomben yesterday with a heap of Group races on offer. My brother and former co-star of Tommy’s Town, Hugh Bowman, put on another clinic. He rode yet another lazy treble including the Queensland Guineas/Derby double aboard Salsonic for Jason Coyle (flying) and Ruthven for Ciaron Maher who could probably take a leaf out of some of those trendy AFL players’ books and start sporting a man-bun. And full respect to Darren Beadman winning his first Group 1 after a masterful ride from Corey Brown aboard Impending.

Hugh’s ride on Ruthven was, in the words of the great Bruce McAveney, “special.” Bearing in mind he was on a colt who had not won a race since last October, and had a reputation as a difficult horse to ride, Hugh jumped him out, put him in the box seat, got off the fence when required, dashed to the lead on the turn and shit in.  If only it was always that easy. Hugh is on fire and people often ask me why I have not given him the Award yet. Well the reason is simple. He does not have time to collect the Award because his weekdays are taken up with counting his money. His turn will come.

The standout performance for me yesterday was Josh Adams. This kid is only 25 but has lived two lifetimes already. He was flying back about 5 years ago riding a heap of city winners and winning the apprentice title. But he then met the Devil in the shape of the “Persian rugs” and his life spiralled out of control.

Josh rode a few winners for me including a win on my mare Purring Flyer and I got to know him fairly well around that time. But I did notice a rapid change in him and the explanation was obvious to all that knew. He eventually was outed for 2 years by the Stewards and his career looked shot. He looked gone both personally and professionally.

To give you an idea of how good a jockey he was, my good mate and epic judge Ronnie Dufficy rated him as one of the best apprentices he had seen. The world was his oyster. Over in the blink of an eye.

In my professional career, I see a lot of kids throw their lives away with drugs and cop the tip, hardly any make it back. Some end up in prison or even worse, mental institutions or a coffin. But Josh fought his way through the haze and has been back riding for about 6 months.

Yesterday at Randwick was his first ride at a major city meeting for nearly 4 years and he was legged aboard a sprinter called The Monstar. The powers that plot our path through life obviously decided that Josh deserved a break and the horse produced a career best run to win the June Stakes by a huge margin. I must confess to having a tear in my eye and I, along with most others in the sport, are very proud of the way Josh has fought his way back.

Josh my brother, welcome back to where you should be. In the winner’s circle in town. Your comeback will no doubt inspire other young people and give them hope that there is light at the end of that dark tunnel. Mate I am so proud of you that I will break tradition and when I see you, I will buy YOU a beer!!!

Until next week this has been Tommy from Campbelltown……………….signing off.

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