Sean Bowen is now five winners clear at the top of the jump jockeys’ championship after a treble at Perth on Sunday (all for trainer Gordon Elliott) and a success at Newton Abbot on Monday. The partnership with Gordon Elliott is yielding plenty of winners this summer and helping Sean build a solid base ahead of the more competitive winter campaign. Sean (at the time of writing) has 39 winners with current champion Brian Hughes on 34.
Chepstow’s Paloma Faith meeting on Friday drew a lively crowd of around 7500 on a warm evening. Only one of the seven races was won by the favourite, but as none of the winners started at longer than 5/1 there were plenty of opportunities to collect from the bookmakers.
Grace Harris (photographed) provided the only Welsh-trained winner of the night, Connie’s Rose, who led virtually throughout a seven furlong handicap. She was a little fortunate, because Atlantic Heart was catching her fast. In a head-bobbing climax to the race her head was in front just before and just after the winning post, but Connie’s Rose’s nose was first to cross the actual winning line.
Last time out she had finished a close sixth behind Rhubarb, who at 7/2 was a popular choice for the second race. She duly won for the third time this year at Chepstow.
Stockpyle, the winner of the apprentice jockeys handicap, runs in the colours of the Cardiff based La Pyle Partnership that own Pyledriver, the Group 1 globetrotter. He was the early favourite for the 2020 St Leger on the basis of a Royal Ascot victory, and his Welsh owners turned down offers of “life changing amounts” to sell him.
Trained by William Muir and Chris Grassick in Lambourn, Pyledriver won last year’s Coronation Cup (£187,000) and after some injury problems was successful in a little race at Lingfield before going on to come second in the Hong Kong Vase (£415,000). Since then he has run in Saudi Arabia and finished fourth in Dubai’s Sheema Classic (£222,000) with Frankie Dettori on board. Dettori rode him at Epsom in this year’s Coronation Cup but Pyledriver was not quite on top form and came in second. The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in two weeks is his next target, and nearer the end of the season he is entered in the Arc de Triomphe.
Stockpyle, a half-brother to Pyledriver, is not in that league. However, having broken his duck at Chepstow – partnered by apprentice Oliver Timms, for whom it was a first ever winner – he can go on to better things.
Our next fixture at Ffos Las is Monday 25th July. It’s an evening meeting starting at 6.20pm with tickets two for £20 if you book in advance. Tickets are also available on the night. There’s a great value dinner package in Bridles Restaurant for £49 per person including a two-course meal, admission and a racecard.