Winx's return to racing could be revised after champion jockey Hugh Bowman lost his first opportunity to have a careless riding suspension reduced so he can ride the champion mare in her scheduled comeback.
The Racing NSW Appeal Panel on Monday agreed with the seven-match suspension imposed by Racing NSW stewards at a meeting at Warwick Farm on January 26.
Bowman needed a three-meeting reduction to be able to ride Winx in the Apollo Stakes at Randwick on February 17 and will consider whether to continue with another appeal for a careless riding ban incurred in New Zealand on January 27.
Trainer Chris Waller, Winx's owners and Bowman will now consider a range of options.
Bowman admitted he had shifted in on eventual winner Tswalu in the Warwick Farm race when insufficiently clear of Bold Chance, but had hoped the degree of carelessness would be downgraded.
"It's not the end of the world is it? It's one race and we'll move on," Bowman said.
"For the sake of safety and the fairness of horse racing it is important we ride with due care and that's not forgotten with me.
"I really thought we had a case. It was heard fairly and that's all I can ask for,."
A quick trip to New Zealand on Friday is among several possibilities to be canvassed over the next 24 hours.
Winx's return could be delayed until the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on March 3.
Other options include the Group One Futurity Stakes at Caulfield on February 24 or a stand-in jockey for the Apollo.
After her barrier trial on Monday morning, Waller emphasised Bowman's contribution to Winx's le strike rate and was open minded if the outcome was unfavourable.
"Do we need to risk another jockey? Does she need to race in the Apollo?
"We've seen before she races well fresh. She can space her races. You can do whatever you like with her really."
Through his lawyer Paul O'Sullivan, Bowman argued Blake Shinn did not lose his rightful running on Bold Chance.
Bowman acknowledged he erred when crossing when not two lengths clear and agreed there was potential for Bold Chance to clip the heels of Tswalu, the eventual winner.
Racing NSW deputy chief steward Philip Dingwall said the incident was a "textbook case" of medium grade careless riding because Bowman was only 1-1/4 lengths clear and did not look across a second time before completing his move.
Shinn described the level of carelessness as 'low' and and he contributed to the incident by riding positively.
"I've been taken off my line and inconvenienced for two or three strides. I didn't have to check and I've ended up where I wanted to be," he said.
Bowman was outed by New Zealand stewards when he shifted out on eventual runner-up Five To Midnight and bumped third placegetter Comin' Through in the Group Three City Of Auckland Cup. -AAP