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'One hell of a rider' - Sean Bowen produces gutsy ride to deny gambled favourite

Best Trition (red cap): holds off Dentley De Mee in a thrilling finish
Best Trition (red cap): holds off Dentley De Mee in a thrilling finishCredit: Tim Hughes, Behind The Lens (https://behindthelens.art/)

Thursday: Ffos Las

Sean Bowen was hailed "one hell of a rider" by the ecstatic connections of Best Trition as his never-say-die ride was rewarded by the narrowest of margins.

The Olly Murphy topweight, who carries the silks of Foxtrot Racing, had to be hard ridden for a long way in the 3m handicap chase to even keep on terms with the day's leading fancy Dentley De Mee, who moved powerfully into the race.

The favourite's price reached 1.03 on the Betfair Exchange as he coasted in the lead, but approaching the final fence Charlie Deutsch was forced to drive the favourite and his mount just failed to hold off a spirited effort in the straight from Bowen and Best Trition. The 12-1 shot won by a short head.

"That wasn't easy. I won't have to go to the gym for a week after that as he gave me a hard old time," Bowen said. "He got home though, which is the main thing.

"He's just very lazy and got under the bottom of some fences, but he's a very strong stayer. If I could get him motivated a bit earlier he'd be even better."

Connections of Best Trition following his victory in the 3m handicap chase
Connections of Best Trition following his victory in the 3m handicap chaseCredit: Tim Hughes, Behind The Lens (https://behindthelens.art/)

The win was Best Trition's first in six starts and three members of his 20-strong syndicate braved windy and wet conditions to enjoy the breakthrough.

Paul Turner, one of the members, said: "Olly was always optimistic and confident this horse could do something. I think the stamina, which we always knew was there, made the difference as did the ground.

"As far as the syndicate goes, this is one for us and 2023 has kicked off really well, so long may it continue. Sean kept on really well, he's one hell of a rider who just does the business. Fair play to the guy."

Milestone day

Luca Morgan broke his claim in style with two winners from three rides, but rued the one that got away, which was owned by his mother.

Morgan achieved his landmark when riding odds-on favourite Mrs Grimley in the opening 2m mares' novice hurdle – and the result gave him particular pleasure as it came for boss and long-time supporter Ben Pauling.

Mrs Grimley: winner of the opener for Ben Pauling and Luca Morgan
Mrs Grimley: winner of the opener for Ben Pauling and Luca MorganCredit: Tim Hughes, Behind The Lens (https://behindthelens.art/)

He followed up in the feature 2m handicap hurdle with an excellent front-running ride on the Michael Scudamore-trained Thor De Cerisy but was frustrated the middle leg, for mum Georgia, let him down.

The Pauling-trained Bobby Bow ran a mighty race after a 642-day break but could not repel Art of Illusion in the closing stages.

"It's been a great day," the jockey said. "It's a bit of a shame the other lad finished second, but you can't win them all.

"I'm delighted to do it. I've been trying to ride as many winners as I can and this comes with it. I'm thrilled it's come on one of Ben's. I don't really have a target, it's just about keep riding winners and not messing up."

Results, replays and analysis


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James StevensWest Country correspondent

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