There’s little racing fans love more than statistics and there was none better than the Welsh Grand National being won by a 16 year old jockey, riding a horse only three years his junior. If that weren’t enough James Bowen became the youngest jockey to win the race and Raz De Maree, the oldest horse in modern times.
Of rich racing heritage Bowen said after securing his 6 length victory: “It’s amazing. From the age of eight, I knew I would be a jockey”. Home schooled, presumably to ensure his aspirations, he only rode in his first point-to-point race in March of last year and has already ridden out his 7lb claim in the professional ranks.
Yesterday’s renewal at Chepstow, which had originally been due to be run on Boxing Day, took place on inevitably heavy ground and with a long run to the first fence, it was clear the initial fast pace couldn’t be maintained over the gruelling 3m5f. Only seven of the twenty starters completed the race, which ended as a battle between Raz De Maree and another 13 year old, Alfie Spinner.
Taking nothing away from Bowen’s ride, the spirited Raz De Maree or indeed trainer, Gavin Cromwell, this wasn’t a classic. But hey, we shouldn’t spoil statistics with the true story.