Sean Bowen Blog | Aintree Day Three

12 Apr 2024
Coral Racing Ambassador, Sean Bowen, provides a preview of his four rides at Aintree on the final day of the Grand National Festival, including The Goffer in The Grand National.

13:20 Aintree – Bugise Seagull

I’ve won on him twice before, and he’s a nice straightforward horse who jumps well and tries hard for you. Hopefully the ground has dried out slightly by the time this race goes off as I don’t think he’d want it properly heavy. It does look a competitive race, and he’s up against it on ratings, but hopefully he can run well, and I’m sure he’ll be a nice horse for the future whatever happens here.

15:05 Aintree – Strong Leader

This looks a very competitive race, but I think Strong Leader will run well here. He was a good second to Inthepocket at this meeting last year, and I think the track at Aintree really suits him. Olly has kept him fresh with this race in mind, and although the majority of his best form is on better ground, I don’t think he’ll mind the more testing ground here to be honest.

You’ve obviously got Flooring Porter and Sire Du Berlais who are proven performers at this level, but I don’t think we’ve got to the bottom of Strong Leader yet, and I think he goes there with a really nice chance.

16:00 Aintree – The Goffer

Riding in the Grand National is always a wonderful experience, and although I don’t quite get as nervous as I used to when I first rode in it, you still get those butterflies before you leave the weighing room as you know what a big race it is, and if you are lucky enough to win it, then it really can change your life.

I’m riding The Goffer for Gordon Elliott this year, and I rode him to finish 4th last year at Sandown in the Bet365 Gold Cup, and he gave me a really good spin that day. He went off favourite for the Ultima last month, but he just slightly disappointed there, so hopefully he can leave that run behind here.

He stays very well, he jumps, and he’s very straightforward, so providing he gets the luck in running that you need in a Grand National, then it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he outran his odds.

If I don’t win on The Goffer, then hopefully Dad and James can win it with Mac Tottie. He has an excellent record over these fences, but it’s just a real shame that the ground seems to have gone against him. I think on decent ground he could have gone well, but in these testing conditions, this just might stretch him.

17:35 Aintree – Castle Ivers

He’s won three of his four starts to date, and the only blip came at Lingfield when he really didn’t like the all-weather surface. I really like this horse, and I think he’s a young horse with a very bright future. He really impressed me at Wetherby last time, and I think the experience he has in comparison to a few of the others will stand him in really good stead in a race of this nature.

It will probably be a bit of a mess of a race, but I do think he’s quite nice this horse, so if he gets a good trip round, then I think he can very well.

Sean Bowen, Coral Racing Ambassador
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