Dunedoo product Hugh Bowman to ride Twilight Payment in Melbourne Cup

GOING AGAIN: Hugh Bowman will ride in the Melbourne Cup for the ninth time on Tuesday.
GOING AGAIN: Hugh Bowman will ride in the Melbourne Cup for the ninth time on Tuesday.

For a few hairy moments last week, Hugh Bowman thought he might be without a Melbourne Cup ride this year.

The Dunedoo product and champion jockey had been booked to reunite with 2018 runner-up Marmelo until Racing Victoria officials on Wednesday controversially ordered the horse's withdrawal, saying CT scans showed he was unfit to run.

Bowman was left to lament a missed opportunity, but not for long.

Shortly after news of Marmelo broke, connections of international runner Twilight Payment quickly snapped up his services.

The belated nature of the booking, combined with a busy Derby day at Flemington on Saturday, meant Bowman had some homework to do on his mount in the lead-up to the Cup.

"I know he's owned by Team Williams and trained by Joseph O'Brien, so that's a good starting point," Bowman said.

"And it would be nice to win it."

Tuesday will mark Bowman's ninth ride in the Melbourne Cup.

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Last year was his best result in the race that stops a nation and if he is to go one better in 2019 it will come as a real shock.

Twilight Payment was a $51 outsider with the TAB on Monday morning and the seven-year-old heads into the event as a consistent performer but also a horse which has never won or placed in a Group 1 event.

Twilight Payment is one of four Cup runners for O'Brien, and he will be making his Australian debut on Tuesday.

His European form has been promising, as he relegated stablemate Master Of Reality to third when he won at Leopardstown in May and left fellow Cup contenders Latrobe and Southern France in his wake when successful at The Curragh a month later.

He failed to fire in the Irish St Leger, finishing seventh, but it was a rare flop from the horse who has won or been placed in 19 of his 24 starts.

Twilight Payment has drawn barrier 19 but Bowman suspects his charge has enough tactical speed to nullify his wide gate.

"I think he's a horse who likes to gallop on forward so it actually might not be as bad as what it looks on first glance," Bowman said.

"There is plenty of time to get across, we won't rush him. I'll just have him where he's comfortable."

Twilight Payment is one of three runners for leviathan owner Lloyd Williams, along with Master Of Reality and Latrobe.

Williams has won the Melbourne Cup six times with Rekindling (2017), Almandin (2016), Green Moon (2012), Efficient (2007), What A Nuisance (1985) and Just A Dash (1981).