Reports12 February 2024

Sean Bowen back in business with first winner since return from injury

Sean Bowen after finishing second on Roccovango in the 2m novice handicap hurdle
Sean Bowen: secured his first winner since returning from injuryCredit: Edward Whitaker

Sean Bowen registered his first winner since returning to action from injury at Huntingdon last Thursday when steering market leader Pickanumber home in the opening maiden hurdle.

Riding for his principal supporter Olly Murphy, Bowen sat tight in the early stages as the free-running Rosenpur went into a clear lead in the early stages of the 1m7½f contest. 

After the latter paid for his early exuberance, Bowen was in command on Pickanumber down the back straight and sauntered home ahead of market rival Speed Davis by nine lengths.

It was a sixth ride back for Bowen, who briefly went one clear of Harry Cobden in the jockeys' championship before that rival levelled the scores on 122 winners when scoring on his only ride at Plumpton.

"It's nice to be one in front but 30 would be nicer," Bowen told Racing TV before Cobden's success. "Pickanumber hacked up really. He was brave at his hurdles and I went with him. It was his first start for Olly and he stays very well, which was important in this ground."

Bowen was out of luck on his two other rides later on the card with 5-2 favourite For Pleasure managing only fifth in the 1m7½f handicap hurdle won by Milldam.

Hat-trick hero

Val Dancer followed up wins at Leicester and Wetherby to complete a hat-trick over fences in the 3m1f novice handicap chase. The 11-10 favourite rallied in the closing stages under Alex Edwards to beat the Ross Chapman-ridden Tom Cody by a neck. 

Chapman had earlier landed the 2m3½f handicap hurdle on the Rebecca Menzies-trained Harper Valley.

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