Bowden set to go it alone
By Michael Guerin
After five years looking after some of harness racing’s most elite horses Matt Bowden says the time has come to go it alone.
And the man known as “Poi” in the industry has already pulled off one surprise by setting up his base in Pukekohe.
Bowden has taken a barn at the Pukekohe training track with room for 17 horses and it is an area he knows well.
For much of the last five years Bowden has been the travelling foreman for All Stars training champs Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, taking horses
all over Australia but spending plenty of time in South Auckland.
So when the champion trainers stood down and Bowden decided to train in his own right he wanted to be based in Pukekohe.
“I think long term Auckland is the place to be,” Bowden told HRNZ.
“I have always really enjoyed it up here and like the area and while Alexandra Park has some challenges at the moment they are working through them so I want to be involved up here.
“And it is close to the big studs and I’d love to be able to train some horses for them.”
Bowden built a fine reputation working for the All Stars, with Mark Purdon often quoting Bowden’s assessment when talking about the work and condition of the elite horses.
“I was lucky enough took work for Tim (Butt) and then Mark and Nat and they all taught me about professionalism and getting the little details right so that is what I am going to try and bring to training.”
Bowden will be heading to the yearling sales next month looking to buy, buoyed by success in the ring in the past.
“I used to have a bit of success there, buying cheap horses and turning them into good money but I obviously haven’t the last few years because I have always been traveling at sales time.
“But I really want to get some nice horses to take through from the yearling sales to their race careers.”
Bowden will also be available to pre-train and work up horses for other trainers, with Stonewall Stud already offering him work in that area.
"The time is right for me to go out on my own and I have room for owners who want horses so I want to let people know because a few people have been asking what next for me.
“So from February 1 I will be officially training and happy to go look at horses at the sales for anybody or take care of their horses after.”