James Bowen does it again as Jenkins collects big Ascot prize

Sat 20 Jan 2018

Leading conditional James Bowen enjoyed a big-race success for the third Saturday in a row when steering Jenkins home in the Ascot Spring Garden Show Holloway's Handicap Hurdle.

After taking the Welsh National on Raz De Maree and the Lanzarote Hurdle on William Henry, Bowen notched up win number 40 to enable him to lose his 5lb claim.

Bowen always had Jenkins (5-1) close to the pace set by Caid Du Lin and Night Of Sin before setting sail for home from four out.

Nicky Henderson's runner kept up the gallop to score by two and a quarter lengths from Air Horse One. The winner's stablemate Burbank was two lengths further away in third.

Henderson said: "They (blinkers) were the catalyst last time. They had him tanking a bit today over that trip.

"I thought he was doing too much the whole way and I thought he will have to be a very good horse to keep this up. They were racing from miles out.

"The pleasing horse I got out of the race was Burbank, as he has got his spark back again at last.

"I don't know what we do now. He is due to go up 11lb with a penalty. There was something missing as we know what ability he has got.

"We are riding him rather differently, but there was no pace at Kempton so that is why we made the running. It is brave to ask him to come back.

"I hate coming back seven days later as you never know what it has done to them, but Dave Fehily who rides him said all week he felt great. James had a sit on him yesterday and there we go."

Of Bowen, Henderson said: "That is the end of his 5lb claim but he gets three days grace but I've got no runners Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, so that is the end of that game. It was good while it lasted."

Nayati maintained his unbeaten record for Alan King when running out a fortunate winner of the Horse Comes First Juvenile Hurdle.

Looking booked for third at best, the 8-11 favourite took full advantage of a last-flight fall for likely winner Et Moi Alors, who brought down long-time leader Harmonise in the process, before getting up on the line to beat Oistrakh Le Noir by a neck.

Ollie Wardle, assistant trainer, said: "He was a very fortunate winner and he might have run well to finish third if the other two stood up. In all fairness, he knuckled down to get to the line. He will be a better horse when he runs on better ground.

"He made the mistake mid-race and that stopped him in his tracks. He is not a speed horse and is more of a galloping type. We will have to step him up now into deeper water to see what we really have."

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