Returning Sean Bowen up for title battle with Cobden now odds-on
Sean Bowen returns to the saddle at Huntingdon tomorrow after a six-week absence due to injury and a much reduced lead in the standings, and says Harry Cobden’s title challenge has put ‘that extra bit of fire in his belly’ as he looks forward to the rest of the season.
Cobden is now 1-3 favourite with Coral to win a first jockeys’ championship, with Bowen 9-4, but speaking exclusively as a Coral ambassador, Bowen has also said that for the remainder of this campaign, he will be going to meetings where he feels he has the best chance of riding winners, regardless of the profile of that meeting.
“It’s been a long six weeks out of the saddle, and I really can’t wait to get back riding on Thursday. I don’t tend to watch much racing when I’m out of action, but I do watch James [Bowen, brother] and support him, and I’ll always check the results to see how Olly’s [Murphy] horses have got on. It is always tough seeing the horses you’d have been on go out there and win, because even though you’re happy they’ve won, you always want to be the jockey to win on them.”
“Harry [Cobden] has been riding right at the top of his game recently, and Paul’s [Nicholls] horses are also in great form, so I really need to get back riding winners if I want to be champion jockey, which make no mistake, I do! I’d much rather still have a comfortable lead, but the fact Harry is now breathing down my neck at the top of the championship has given me that extra bit of fire in my belly to want to get back out there and ride as many winners as I possibly can. It’s very much going to be a numbers game for me for the rest of the season, so wherever I think I have the best chance of riding a few winners is where I’ll be heading, regardless of the high-profile action that might be taking place elsewhere.”
“I’m feeling good, and providing I pass my fitness test [on Wednesday], then I’ll head to Huntingdon on Thursday to ride Roccovango. He’s not a horse we know much about as he’ll be having his first start for Olly on Thursday, but he’d look potentially well-handicapped on some of his form in Ireland, so he goes there with a chance. I’d say we’ll have to go some to beat Harry Derham’s horse Nordic Tiger though, as he looks particularly well in at the weights.”
Coral’s David Stevens commented: “Although Sean still has the smallest of leads in the jockeys’ standings, the momentum is very much with Harry Cobden, and as a result he’s now odds-on to be crowned champion, although with both riders operating at an identical strike rate from an almost identical number of rides this season, they could serve up a title race to savour.”
- 1-3 Harry Cobden
- 9-4 Sean Bowen
All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publication.