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Sean Bowen Chasing Maiden Jockeys’ Championship Title This Season

Welshman Sean Bowen has made an excellent start to the 2023/24 National Hunt season, which has put him in a great position in his bid to win the Jockeys’ Championship for the first time in his career.

Bowen has ridden over 80 winners already for the campaign, and with the season set to continue until the end of April, if he stays fit and operates at the same strike rate, he will go close to reaching 200 winners.

Some Big Rides Still to Come This Season

There are some major races set to come on the National Hunt calendar in November and December, and Bowen will be hoping to add to his lead at the top of the Jockeys’ standings during that period. He is set to ride Noble Yeats in the Betfair Chase on the 25th of November. The former Grand National winner is 12/1 in the odds on horse racing for the Grade One contest at Haydock.

Bowen partnered Noble Yeats in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National last season. He finished fourth in both of those two major races. The talented chaser has proved to be one of the most consistent horses in the 3m chase division over the last couple of years, and Bowen will be confident there will be more to come from the French-bred runner.

If he gets another shot at the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2024, the Blue Riband event in the sport, Bowen will be bidding to become the first Welsh jockey to win the race in 16 years. Sam Thomas was the last to do so when he guided Denman to victory in the Cheltenham Festival feature in 2008.

The 2022 Welsh Jockey of the Year will also be aiming to add his name to the Grand National roll of honour. Carl Llewellyn was the last rider from Wales to win the world’s most famous steeplechase. He was successful on board Earth Summit in 1998 in Liverpool.

Runner-Up Behind Hughes Last Season

Despite the lead Bowen has in the Jockeys’ Championship standings, he will be fully aware of the threat of Brian Hughes. The reigning champion lifted the trophy for the third straight year last season, with the Welshman finishing runner-up behind him.

His tally of 125 winners last year was Bowen’s best return for a campaign, beating his previous best by 31. He trailed Hughes by 40 winners at the end of the year, but it was an excellent season for the man from Pembrokeshire.

The top two in the Jockeys’ Championship table will also be mindful of the threat both Harry Cobden and Harry Skelton pose to their chances of being named the Champion Jockey. They both ride for leading trainers in the sport, so they are likely to up their strike rates as some of the best horses from those yards start to appear on the track for the first time this season.

The winner of the 2023/24 National Hunt Jockeys’ Championship will be handed their trophy on the 26th of April at Sandown on the Season Finale meeting at the Esher-based racecourse.