Amidst a busy weekend of jump racing, littered with clues for the season ahead, one youngster who really caught the eye was not a horse but a jockey.
James Bowen is only 16, but is bred for the job as the younger brother of jockey Sean, and son of trainer Peter.
James broke the record for point-to-point winners as a novice last year, and has already been poached by the top yard of Nicky Henderson for the season ahead.
He could be the next big thing and is well worth following whilst he can still claim the maximum 7lb allowance.
He heads to Plumpton today for two rides, and a double looks on the cards.
With Fixed Rate (1510) he has a recent winner whose 10lb raise is mostly mitigated by Bowen’s claim. Market rival Chef D’Equipe looks more likely to be a chaser and his 7lb claiming jockey, owner David Maxwell is a gentleman amateur who needs the claim to be competitive. Trust Bowen to deliver.
The closing race is restricted to conditional jockeys. Bowen may well turn out to be the best conditional riding, but his inexperience at this stage still allows him to claim 3lbs even in this grade.
That will help offset top weight for Quiz Master. He has some questions to answer after five quiet runs, but a debut handicap mark of 102, whilst high in this company, looks low for a nicely bred youngster from the powerful Tizzard yard.
The well named mare Posh Totty is in here off a basement mark of just 67 and likely short priced favourite. She has been prolific in point to points since being a bad hurdler 7 years ago. She is priced as though a 10yo mare will translate that amateur chasing form to professional hurdling. Worth opposing.
Recommendation: “The Bowen Double”, Fixed Rate (1510 Plumpton) & Quiz Master (1610 Plumpton), 1pt win double, approx 15/1 Bet365
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