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Track Talk With Executive Director Phil Bell - 23 June


23 June 2021

It’s been heartening to see the revival in fortunes of the Pembrokeshire yard of Peter Bowen. 

After two relatively quiet seasons, he’s been firing in the winners left, right and centre including a treble at the Ffos Las meeting last Thursday and a double at Market Rasen the following day. He now sits in third place in the jump trainers’ championship.

He must be relieved when looking back at his statistics in recent years. 

After a winner on September 10th 2019, Peter had one success on January 1st 2020 at Fakenham and the next wasn’t until August 5th.  That was a strike rate of 1-152, or one winner in 329 days (although Covid meant there was no racing for two and a half months of that).

Roll forward to the last few months and it is very much business as usual with his big summer race successes including Game Line in the Norfolk National at Fakenham, Francky Du Berlais in the Clarke Chase at Uttoxeter and Landofsmiles in the Perth Gold Cup. 

Peter has been a fantastic flag bearer for Welsh racing. 

In his best season – 2006/2007 – he sent out 72 winners and until recently had between 36 and 69 victories every season. But in the last two jump seasons, his numbers dropped to 18 and 20 wins respectively. However, his return to form has been the stable secure 18 winners already and the season has only been underway for a couple of months.

His biggest career success came with the Dai Walters owned Snoopy Loopy in the 2008 Betfair Chase at Haydock but there are many, many other significant victories including Al Co in the 2014 Coral Scottish Grand National, Henllan Harri in the 2017 Bet 365 Gold Cup and Always Waining who won the Topham Chase at Aintree three times in succession from 2010.

As well as Peter’s superb form, his sons Sean and James are flying in the Jockeys’ Championship. They are in joint 3rd place with 17 winners each. 

Monmouthshire trainer David Evans has got a really tough horse on his hands in the shape of Rohaan who won the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday. 

The gelding has risen from 55 to 112 in the handicap following a recent Group 3 win at Ascot and a Group 2 success at Haydock. His remarkable season continued when jockey Shane Kelly brought the three-year old from last to first in the 21-runner field in the Wokingham.

Rohaan’s last three wins have yielded £155,000 in prize money. It was Evans’ first victory at the prestigious meeting who says his stable star’s first attempt at Group 1 company could come in next month's Darley July Cup at Newmarket.

We were delighted to see spectators return to Ffos Las last Thursday, we had a healthy crowd of around 700 which is excellent given that we didn’t get the go-ahead for customers to attend from the Welsh Government until June 4th.

The Welsh Government has given the go-ahead for hospitality to return to racecourses – at the time of writing we are waiting for further guidance on the finer details. Keep an eye on our website.

Our next fixture at Chepstow is next Tuesday 29th June when the first race is off at 5.50pm. Tickets are £20 and must be booked in advance. Ladies Evening is Friday 9th July and Caribbean Night is Friday 23rd July.

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