Sean Bowen (photographed) extended his lead in the jump jockeys’ championship to nine by riding four winners at Perth on Sunday, all for Gordon Elliott.
He won the first race, a novice hurdle, on the odds-on favourite An Mhi. He ran with a penalty for winning a Ballinrobe maiden and although he won by only a length and a quarter there were 26 back to the rest of the field.
An hour later the 5/2 favourite Walking The Walk took the 3m chase, punters ignoring his record of one win from 31 starts. Bowen dropped his whip in the closing stages but the horse ran on regardless, finishing full of beans.
Later the £20,000 Perth Gold Cup went to Ballykeel, whose second place at the big Punchestown meeting gave him an obvious chance. He was going best turning into the straight, yet needed all of Bowen’s encouragement to get him home by three lengths.
The fourth winner was Mrs Paisley in a 3m hurdle. Her form figures didn’t inspire confidence, but she is related to Paisley Park and had run much better here last time out over half a mile less. Today she was fancied at 9/2, travelled kindly and stayed on well from two out to score by two and a half lengths.
The Elliott-Bowen horse in the closing bumper, Faux Fur, was odds on but could only manage second place. Wales’s leading jump jockey had to settle for a 103/1 four-timer.
Bowen had ridden a winner on Saturday for Shark Hanlon, who’d sent a team over from Ireland to Bangor-on-Dee. Master Player was an even money favourite for the maiden hurdle and he duly won, but without much in hand. Brian Hughes was on the runner-up and matched him later that day by riding a Hanlon horse to win the bumper.
Junior Massini has been in great form since joining Sheila Lewis in the spring. Jack Tudor was in the plate at Bangor, and he set out to make all the running, which he did successfully. Two of his opponents fell and another was hampered by a faller, so the form doesn’t look very strong and with luck the handicapper won’t be too harsh when reassessing him.
Chepstow’s Abba Party Night meeting on Saturday had plenty of Welsh competitors and they won three races between them.
Louis Treize was unlucky for most punters, winning the opener at 33/1. Deborah Faulkner, whose yard is three miles from Chepstow, is better known as a jumps trainer but is now 3-16 on the flat this year.
The Chris Mason-trained Jax Edge, running for the first time over five furlongs, won the third race. She was backed in from 3/1 to 15/8.
In the finale John Flint’s Lusaka was a warm order, having shown some promise last time out. He made most of the running and won, eased down, by six lengths.
Don’t forget Ffos Las race next on Sunday the 25th, when the Wurzels will be performing at our Beer & Cider festival. It is also our first flat meeting of the season – there are seven races from 2pm. Tickets are £21 in advance and lunch packages are available in Bridles Restaurant