Which horse was Sean Bowen’s first ride in the Grand National?
Sean Bowen is the son of Pembrokeshire trainer Peter Bowen and the elder brother of James Bowen, who, in 2017/18, became the youngest champion conditional jockey in history. In 2014, Bowen won the Wilkinson Sword Edge Novice Riders’ Point-To-Point Championship, thereby attracting the attention of Paul Nicholls. He subsequently joined the multiple champion trainer as a conditional jockey and made an immediate impact. In his first full season, 2014/15, he rode 51 winners, despite being sidelined for six weeks with a shoulder injury, and won the conditional jockeys’ title by a margin of seven winners from his nearest rival, Nico de Boinville. Indeed, he had the distinction of being the youngest champion conditional in history until usurped by his younger brother three seasons.
As far as the Grand National is concerned, Sean Bowen first lined up in the celebrated steeplechase on April 11, 2015, bidding to become the youngest winning jockey since Bruce Hobbs, who was aged 17 years and three months when he won on Battleship in 1938. His mount on that occasion was the 9-year-old Mon Parrain, trained by Paul Nicholls, on whom he had previously won a handicap chase, in first-time blinkers, at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. Sent off at 33/1 in the National, Mon Parrain raced in mid-division for most of the way, but was never really a factor and, while he completed the course, eventually trailed in eleventh of 19 finishers, a respectful 56 lengths behind the winner, Many Clouds.