Tag Archive for: James Bowen

Henderson: Bowen more than able deputy for De Boinville

Nicky Henderson has given a ringing endorsement to James Bowen as he continues to deputise for the injured Nico de Boinville on the cream of the Seven Barrows string.

De Boinville suffered a broken collarbone in a fall at Doncaster on Friday, and although his experience will prove a loss for Henderson and his Lambourn operation, he has a “top-class” deputy waiting in the wings.

Fresh from riding his first Grade One winner aboard Henderson’s Jango Baie at Aintree on Boxing Day, Bowen picked up key rides at Newbury on Saturday for his boss, steering the high-class prospect Jeriko Du Reponet to a comfortable success.

Newbury Races – Saturday December 30th
Jeriko Du Reponet ridden by James Bowen (David Davies/PA)

Bowen partnered the opening winner on Cheltenham’s New Year’s Day card and afterwards Henderson said: “There has never been any doubt about James.

“We’re going to miss Nico but, funny enough, some horses will suit James and it works both ways.

“James is absolutely 100 per cent top class, we’ve always known that. Nico is there riding at his best and James is there backing him, but he’s a bit better than just a back-up.

“It’s great that when this happens you have a top man ready there to grab the reins.”

It is unknown how long De Boinville will be on the sidelines and he could miss steering the likes of Jonbon and Constitution Hill in their intended engagements over the next month.

However, Henderson has no doubt Bowen would be more than up to the task if his owners give the nod for the Welshman to deputise, pointing out his ice-cool temperament would help combat the pressure of linking up with some of racing’s best talent.

Constitution Hill is the biggest name in National Hunt racing
Constitution Hill is the biggest name in National Hunt racing (David Davies for The Jockey Cub)

“You would have to talk to the owners and it would be their decision at the end of the day, but it wouldn’t be a worry from my point of view, put it like that,” continued Henderson.

“These are the things you have to learn about as well, and he’s stepping up into the big days. But he’s won Welsh Grand Nationals before and he’s as cool as they come.

“He was only 16 when he came to us and we’ve learnt a lot since then, he’s learnt to drive if nothing else.

“This is a fantastic family he comes from. The person I feel really sorry for at the moment is Sean (Bowen, brother) who has done so brilliantly and built up a lead (in the jockeys’ championship) and now it looks like he has thrown that lead away (with injury).

“They are a fantastic family and by god they can ride.”

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De Boinville misses Newbury mounts after Doncaster fall

Nico de Boinville will miss key rides aboard highly-touted duo Willmount and Jeriko Du Reponet at Newbury on Saturday following a fall at Doncaster on Friday.

The 34-year-old was riding 13-8 favourite Therapist for his boss Nicky Henderson in the La-Z-Boy At KC Sofa’s Fillies’ Juvenile Maiden Hurdle when coming to grief at the second-last flight, suffering a suspected collarbone injury.

It continues a mixed Christmas period for the rider who tasted success aboard his star mount Constitution Hill and hot Triumph Hurdle prospect Sir Gino at Kempton, but was unseated from Shishkin at the second last when leading Boxing Day’s King George VI Chase.

Nico de Boinville after being unseated from Shishkin on Boxing Day
Nico de Boinville after being unseated from Shishkin on Boxing Day (Steven Paston/PA)

De Boinville told Sky Sports Racing: “I think it’s a collarbone job. I’ve got to go to the X-Rays and see how we are.

“What can you do, you can’t cry about it.”

Fresh from a first Grade One victory at Aintree on Boxing Day, it is fellow Seven Barrows rider James Bowen who will take De Boinville’s place aboard Willmount in the Coral Challow Hurdle and Supreme Novices’ Hurdle favourite Jeriko Du Reponet in the Coral Committed To Safer Gambling ‘Introductory’ Hurdle.

Bowen also picks up the ride on Steal A March for the King and Queen on the Newbury card, with David Bass taking Bowen’s place aboard outsider Brave Jen in the Challow.

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Jango Baie bags first running of Formby Novices’ Hurdle

Nicky Henderson’s Jango Baie battled on gamely to see off Favour And Fortune to win the William Hill Formby Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.

The race was formerly registered as the Tolworth Hurdle and was being run for the first time at Aintree instead of Sandown.

That was a move that did not go down too well with Henderson at the time, although he may have a different take now after the four-year-old, having just his second race under rules, provided James Bowen with a first Grade One success.

In a race which highlighted the ups and downs of racing perfectly, Bowen’s brother Sean, riding Gordon Elliott’s Farren Glory, seemed to be travelling best of all before falling in the home straight.

Jango Baie (17-2) had beaten Ben Pauling’s Tellherthename narrowly on their respective hurdling debuts at Ascot and the two met again. But Pauling’s charge, having jumped and travelled well until the home straight, soon dropped away.

It was Cannock Park who led for much of the journey and he did not give way until the second-last when the front two pulled away, with Jango Baie winning by two and three-quarter lengths after a good tussle.

Bowen told Racing TV: “It went well, I travelled well, he was a bit keen but he was a lot keener the last day.

“He finished his race off really well and I think he’ll probably want a bit further in time.

“Sean looked to be going really well and at the time I didn’t know what he had left, he did look to be going well, though.

“The best I’d done in a Grade One was finishing third on Top Notch in the Long Walk (2018), that’s the closest I’d been before today.

“He hit the line hard and he’s obviously improving, he’s a Grade One horse now so hopefully he’ll have some nice targets.”

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Pawapuri lifts Listed honours at Haydock

Pawapuri successfully stepped up to Listed class with a decisive victory in the Betfred Hat-Trick Heaven Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock.

A dual winner on the Flat for William Haggas, the four-year-old was highly tried by Nicky Henderson on her first two starts over obstacles, running in Grade Two and Grade One company last season.

Having made the most of having her sights lowered on her reappearance in a maiden at Wincanton last month, the daughter of Golden Horn was back up in class in Lancashire and stuck her task well in the testing conditions to repel the challenge of Lunar Discovery by two lengths under James Bowen.

“She jumped well. She missed a couple on the way round when I forced her, but she stayed on well,” said the winning rider.

“It was her first time over two miles three (furlongs) and in the back of my head going down to the last I thought we’ve got another 300 yards left, but she finished well in the end.

“She is a big mare and it wasn’t really the right time for her last season. She has got her black type now, so they can have fun.”

Bowen is looking forward to returning to Merseyside on Boxing Day, having been booked to partner Henderson’s Jango Baie in the Grade One William Hill Formby Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.

He added: “Hopefully it will be a big day – I’ve never had a Grade One winner and this will be one of the best chances I’ve ridden in a Grade One.

“Jango Baie is a sharp horse and is a proper two-miler at the moment. He is a nice horse.”

Pawapuri’s stablemate Issuing Authority had earlier belatedly opened his account over obstacles in the Betfred TV Beginners’ Chase.

Just three runners went to post for the extended two-mile contest, and Doyen Star was pulled up after never really threatening to land a telling blow.

Having tracked the pacesetting 11-10 favourite Inedit Star for much of the way, Issuing Authority – placed in each of his four races over hurdles without success – asserted in the home straight and passed the post 15 lengths clear.

“It is hard work out there as it is as deep as you can get. I barely got over the last (fence) to be honest with you,” said Bowen.

“I knew he would have come on for his last run. He jumped really well that day and we stepped him back down to an extended two miles today on this ground. I think that suited him as he is a strong traveller and a good jumper.

“Hopefully he can keep progressing now.”

Following successive wins at Sedgefield, Andrew Hamilton’s El Jefe (15-2) completed his hat-trick in the Betfred Nifty 50 Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle in the hands of Conor Rabbitt.

Hamilton said: “Last year we won the Last Fling (Handicap Chase) with All About Joe, but we lost him in the summer. It is nice to come back to Haydock and get another good winner.

“Last season he never lifted the bridle at all, and I could not find the bottom of it. He has come back this season looking like a new horse. He loves life and that was fantastic.”

Ross Chapman steered The Churchill Lad to an all-the-way victory in the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Handicap Hurdle, his fourth win since joining Rebecca Menzies last year.

Steve Jones, of joint owners Flying High, said: “He did this at Musselburgh last time, but he then got caught late on. I thought he could win this today, even though he was the outsider of the six runners.

“He has just grown up in the last year. He has switched on now and we are chuffed with him. That’s helped pay for part of his season.

“He has won three times over hurdles now and we can afford a drink tonight.”

Lucinda Russell and Patrick Wadge combined to land the Betfred Hot Shots Handicap Chase with 7-4 shot Netywell, while the concluding Betfred Merry Christmas Handicap Hurdle went to the Phil Kirby-trained Bushypark (11-2), with Joe Williamson the winning rider.

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