Sean Bowen Blog | Aintree Day One

10 Apr 2024
Coral Racing Ambassador, Sean Bowen, provides an exclusive preview of his two rides on the first day of the Grand National Festival, including Thunder Rock in the Aintree Bowl.

14:55 Aintree Bowl – Thunder Rock

He was obviously very impressive in a good race last month at Kelso, but this is clearly a very big step up for him. We rode him quite quietly that day, and he finished it off very strongly, so I’d say we’ll try and ride him in a similar fashion here. He might struggle to win, but he’ll be ridden in a way that if any of them are stopping at the finish, he’ll have no problem keeping on past them.

It’s going to very testing ground at Aintree this week, but he’s won on all types of ground this lad, and Olly’s horses usually seem to handle deep ground fairly well, so that isn’t too much of a concern.

You’d have to respect Shishkin, but with the slight question mark still hanging over Nicky Henderson’s horses, you’d suspect Gerri Colombe is the one to beat. That was a career-best when finishing second in the Gold Cup last time, and providing that hasn’t left its mark, then he could take some stopping here.

17:15 Mares' National Hunt Flat Race – Letterston Lily

She’s a nice filly Letterston Lily, and she’s always worked quite nicely at home, but this is a tough race to be making your debut in. I’m not convinced she’ll love the testing ground, but you never know until you try them on it, but she’s quite a pacey nice moving filly, so you might just see the best of her on better ground.

She’ll be ridden to run a nice race, and she’s closely related to Verdana Blue who was a smart mare for Nicky Henderson, so whatever she does here, I think she’ll be a nice filly for the future on decent ground.

Sean Bowen, Coral Racing Ambassador
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