Sean Bowen finished the jump season that ended on Saturday as the leading rider in Wales in terms of number of winners. He notched up 68 victories and won £540,000 in prize money. His link up with trainer Harry Fry among a host of others, including his father Peter, Evan Williams and Paul Nicholls, has proved fruitful.
Sean rode Metier to win his first three races for Harry Fry, notably the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown. He partnered Paul Nicholls’ unbeaten Monmiral in two of his four victories, the Grade 2 Summit Juvenile Hurdle at Doncaster and then a conditions race at Haydock. He won four races on The Late Legend for Tom Weston and three on Harry Fry’s pair Momella and Ask Me Early.
Adam Wedge had 45 winners including Silver Streak in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton and Secret Reprieve in the Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow but his season was impacted by injury.
James Bowen had 35 winners with Jack Tudor on 27. Lorcan Williams and Richard Patrick both had 21 successes, Connor Brace 18 and Ben Jones 17. A special mention must go to Isabel Williams who won four races in a row on Memphis Belle.
Isabel’s Dad, Evan, was the leading Welsh trainer with 44 winners and £676,000 in prize money. As well as the successes of Silver Streak and Secret Reprieve, he sent out Coole Cody to win the Paddy Power Gold Cup.
The drama surrounding Saturday’s Bet 365 Gold Cup at Sandown had to be seen to be believed. I won’t attempt to explain in detail what happened but Christian Williams will have to wait a long time to train a more unlucky loser than Kitty’s Light who was badly hampered in the closing stages by the favourite Enrilo who finished first past the post.
Without the interference it looked certain to most observers that Jack Tudor’s mount would have won but unfortunately, the partnership only ended in third place because Potterman finished strongly on the other side of Enrilo to claim second for James Potter, a leading owner based in Welshpool and sponsor of Welsh Champion Hurdle.
After a stewards’ enquiry Enrilo was placed third with the Alan King trained Potterman promoted to first and Kitty’s Light up to second. The phrase ‘you couldn’t make it up’ comes to mind!
On the positive side, Kitty’s Light has been a revelation this season winning four times – and still only five years old. A credit to his talented trainer and young jockey.
Last Friday’s jump meeting at Chepstow was the last one until October and it proved to be a night to remember for Pontypool based permit holder Daniel Bourne. He had his first winner under rules when Nikki Steel took the handicap hurdle as odds of 33-1. It was an impressive training performance because the horse, formerly trained by Dr Richard Newland, had been off the track for 656 days.
The next meeting at Ffos Las is Monday 10th May.