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Sean Bowen Weekend Preview: We have a lot to look forward to with this horse

14 Oct 2023
Coral Racing Ambassador, Sean Bowen, provides a preview of his rides at Chepstow and Ffos Las this weekend, including his ride on Strong Leader in the Welsh Champion Hurdle.

Saturday Preview

14:30 Chepstow – Courtland

He has done nothing but improve all summer. His run in the Summer Plate was a career-best and then he topped that by winning comfortably at Worcester last time out when stepping up in trip, proving his stamina.

This is a more competitive race, but he is a horse in form, and having featured over the summer, he is fit and ready to go for this assignment.

15:10 Chepstow – Bella Bliss

It looks like this mare has a bit to find on ratings, but we are taking our chance on this Listed race. There is a small field, and if she produces her best, you never know. She will be receiving 7lb from all her rivals here, so hopefully, she can use that to her advantage.

16:15 Chepstow – Benassi

He is lightly raced and comes into this unexposed. I haven’t ridden him before, but he is a horse I have liked watching. He seems to go about his job well. I think he comes into this contest with an excellent each-way chance.

16:50 Chepstow – Zestful

She had a very good season in her opening campaign over hurdles. I schooled her on Friday morning, and she seemed in good form. It can be difficult for four-year-olds in their second campaign over hurdles, but she is up against her own age group here. This is a mare Martin Keighley is really looking forward to running this season.

Sunday Preview

14:10 Ffos Las – Idefix De Ciergues

He ran well on his stable debut in a bumper at this course. Unfortunately, he ran a bit flat on his second appearance as it probably came a bit too soon for him. Rebecca Curtis then freshened him up and he was much better on his third bumper start. He will have had plenty of experience jumping hurdles at home. We think he is a nice horse, so hopefully he can prove it on the track.

15:20 Ffos Las – Strong Leader

He was a very good novice last season and probably one of the best of the British. His last start came at Aintree where it was a strange race. He lost his position but then ran on well at the back end of the contest to finish second.

This is a handicap contest so he has top weight to contend with, but hopefully, his class can get him through. If he improves on what he did last season, we have a lot to look forward to with this horse.


15:55 Ffos Las – Ten Past Midnight

He ran well at Plumpton last time over 2m4½f. This is obviously a step up in trip for him and it will come on ground which is softer than he usually features on. Martin Keighley feels now is the time for him to run over this longer distance. He normally runs a good race and there is no reason to think that can’t continue.

16:30 Ffos Las – Enforcement

I schooled him earlier in the week and he seems well. I have not ridden him before. This is his first start since having a wind-op, so hopefully, that procedure will have helped.

17:05 Ffos Las – Valens Bruyee

Rebecca Curtis’ bumper runners tend to fare well first time out. He is by Sageburg and they are usually forward and ready for their first appearance on the track in bumpers. If there is one trainer who can get their horses ready for their first start, it is Rebecca Curtis.


Sean Bowen, Coral Racing Ambassador

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