Apr 8, 729 days ago

Bowen secures National ride on Mon Parrain

Bowen secures National ride on Mon Parrain

17-year-old conditional jockey Sean Bowen has been confirmed as the rider of 33-1 outsider Mon Parrain for Paul Nicholls in the Aintree Grand National.

Bowen went into Saturday’s Haydock card needing one more chase winner before Monday’s deadline to qualify to ride in the race. After timing his run to perfection to win on Southfield Vic in the handicap hurdle, he was full of confidence riding the favourite Virak in the three-mile handicap chase. He led with two to jump and kept his mount up to his work to win by six lengths. The youngster was still not finished for the day as he completed a treble aboard Red Six for his father, Peter, in the closing bumper.

The victory enabled Nicholls to finalise his Grand National plans with Sam Twiston-Davies riding Rocky Creek, Noel Fehily partnering Unioniste and Ryan Mahon aboard Rebel Rebellion. Sam Winner and Benvolio will miss Aintree but may contest the Scottish National if conditions are deemed suitable. Bowen will be attempting to equal the record of being the youngest ever winning rider in the Grand National, set by Bruce Hobbs on Battleship in 1938.

Mon Parrain is a French-bred son of Arc winner Trempolino and went on many short-lists for the National after a fine display of jumping in the Topham Chase in 2011. He looked set to land a gamble under Ruby Walsh until being pegged back on the run-in by Always Waining. Ironically the winner was trained by Peter Bowen and would go on to create history by winning the race for the third successive year in 2012.

Mon Parrain’s only two victories since have both come at Cheltenham, most recently on New Year’s Day when ridden by Bowen. The gelding wore blinkers for the first time when holding off Our Father to win by a length. He reappeared in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster in February but weakened in the closing stages behind Wayward Prince, eventually finishing fifth. Connections are hopeful that the big fences may bring about some improvement.

2009 Grand National winning jockey Liam Treadwell has been booked to ride Monbeg Dude for Michael Scudamore. Treadwell stunned punters when storming home on 100-1 shot Mon Mome but he will have plenty of supporters on Saturday. Monbeg Dude finished seventh last year after receiving some special schooling from Zara Phillips. The gelding is part-owned by her husband, Mike Tindall, the former England Rugby World Cup-winning captain.

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