Norzita team waits on Bowman for Melbourne
Warwick Barr
06:31 AEST Tue Jan 15 2013

Group One-winning filly Norzita will start her autumn campaign in Melbourne but leading Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman has the inside running to keep the ride on the Bart Cummings star.

Connections have given Bowman first refusal on the filly he rode to victory in the Group One Flight Stakes at Randwick in October.

"At the moment we are waiting to see what Hugh Bowman is doing," Duncan Ramage, racing manager for co-owner Dato Tan Chin Nam, said.

"Hugh won a Group One on her at her last start so he has been given the first opportunity to ride her again."

Norzita is scheduled to have two Melbourne starts after missing the Victorian spring because she had come to the end of her campaign.

It is the timing of her second Melbourne start - the Kewney Stakes - which could complicate a jockey booking for the early part of the autumn.

The $220,000 Group Two Kewney Stakes (1400m) will be run as a support race during Flemington's Super Saturday meeting on March 9.

But Melbourne's flagship autumn card will clash with Sydney's Chipping Norton Stakes meeting at Warwick Farm.

In spite of her inexperience, Norzita announced herself as one of Australia's best three-year-old fillies in the spring.

"She went from a maiden through to winning a Group One race in her first preparation but it would have been too much to stretch her out to Melbourne," Ramage said.

"Basically it would have been a bridge too far if we wanted to have a fresh three-year-old for the fillies races in the autumn."

Ramage said Norzita was expected to resume under lights at Moonee Valley a fortnight before the Kewney.

"The program leading into a race like the Kewney is too good to pass up," Ramage said of the decision for Norzita to return to racing in Melbourne.

"She will have only two starts in Melbourne but a program hasn't been finalised for Sydney."

She has been nominated for the $2 million Doncaster Mile at Randwick on April 23.

Lunar Rise, the stablemate Bowman rode to a Carbine Club Stakes win and Sandown Guineas placing in the spring, will also resume in Melbourne with the Australian Guineas an early autumn target race.

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