A point-to-point trainer with 10 horses, and based at his parents’ home in West Wales, Mickey, 21, saddled Dineur to win the Randox Health Fox Hunters’ Chase, going one better than last year when he was runner-up to On The Fringe. Today On The Fringe was sent off the 7/4 favourite, but was struggling in rear when pulled up by Jamie Codd.
Dineur, who started at 16/1, won by one and three-quarters of a length and one and a half lengths, from Balnaslow (7/1) and Big Fella Thanks (40/1). It was a stunning run by 15-year-old Big Fella Thanks and his 17-year-old rider, Noel George. Pacha Du Polder (11/2), who won the equivalent race at Cheltenham, the St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase, finished fourth today.
James King, who partnered the winner, did not ride the horse back to the winner’s enclosure, and Bowen Jr, who was joined in the winner’s enclosure by his fiancée, Lauren Nicholson, said of Dineur: “He got a bit tired and nicked himself, but he’s fine, and he’s walked back to the racecourse stables without any problem. We’ll try again next year.
“It’s amazing – he jumped and travelled so well. He broke down two years ago, and when he came in last season we had to rush him a bit to get him ready for this race. This time from the moment he came in from grass I knew he was in good order. Everything has gone to plan. He ran a couple of weeks ago and that brought him on – he was bouncing after that race.
“My brother, James, rides him every day and he said the horse was in good health – James would have liked to have ridden him today, but he’s only just 16 and has ridden five point-to-point winners, not enough to be eligible for this race.
“James has a ride here on Saturday on Curious Carlos for my dad in a two-mile hurdle [the Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle for conditional and amateur jockeys].
“We took Dineur to Punchestown last year for the Champion Hunters’ Chase, and if the owners are happy we’ll go back there again. It rained before the race last year and it was just too soft for him, so we’ll have to consider that.”
Jamie Codd, who rode On The Fringe, said: “It just wasn’t his day and I was never really happy. Hopefully, there is something amiss that will be found out, but he pulled up fine (before the 17th).”
4.05pm £40,000 Randox Health Foxhunters’ Chase 2m 5f 19y – RESULT
1 Dineur (FR) (Tongue Strap) Mickey Bowen 12st 0lb Mr James King 16/1
2 Balnaslow (IRE) Graham John McKeever, Ireland 12st 0lb Mr Derek O’Connor 7/1
3 Big Fella Thanks (Tongue Strap) Tom George 12st 0lb Mr Noel George 40/1
4 Pacha du Polder (FR) Paul Nicholls 12st 0lb Miss Bryony Frost 11/2
5 Mendip Express (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Philip Hobbs 12st 0lb Mr D. Maxwell 25/1
6 Darwins Fox (FR) (Tongue Strap) D. M. Christie, Ireland 12st 0lb Mr Barry O’Neill 40/1
7 Bear’s Affair (IRE) Philip Rowley 12st 0lb Mr Alex Edwards 12/1
8 Mr Mercurial (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Mrs Sheila Crow 12st 0lb Mr W. Biddick 16/1
9 Rebel Rebellion (IRE) (Blinkers, Tongue Strap) Paul Nicholls 12st 0lb Mr Matthew Hampton 20/1
10 Poole Master Chris Honour 12st 0lb Mr D. Edwards 16/1
11 Tony Star (FR) (Sheepskin C/P) Mickey Bowen 12st 0lb Miss Jodie Hughes 100/1
12 Vincitore (FR) (Tongue Strap) Miss Sarah Rippon 12st 0lb Mrs Claire Hardwick 150/1
13 Damiens Dilemma (IRE) Mrs L. A. Coltherd 12st 0lb Mr N Orpwood 150/1
14 Loch Ba (IRE) Francesca Nimmo 12st 0lb Mr J. Jackson-Stops 33/1
15 Richmond (FR) (Sheepskin C/P) P. P. C. Turner 12st 0lb Miss L. M Turner 200/1
16 Top Cat Henry (IRE) (Visor, Tongue Strap) N. W. Alexander 12st 0lb Mr Kit Alexander 33/1
FELL 6 Flash Garden (IRE) J. M. B. Cookson 12st 0lb Mr T. Hamilton 50/1
FELL 10 Broken Eagle (USA) (Tongue Strap) Alan Hill 12st 0lb Mr Joe Hill 40/1
FELL 10 Sam Cavallaro (IRE) Miss H. Brookshaw 12st 0lb Mr M. J. P. Kendrick 100/1
FELL 13 Black Thunder (FR) (Sheepskin C/P) Warren Greatrex 12st 0lb Mr S. Waley-Cohen 20/1
PU BEF 16 Mr Moss (IRE) S. Rea 12st 0lb Mr J. Nailor 200/1
PU BEF 17 Decade Player (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Miss Kelly Morgan 12st 0lb Mr D. Peters 100/1
PU BEF 17 Fitz Volonte (Sheepskin C/P) Andrew Martin 12st 0lb Mr J. Martin 200/1
PU BEF 17 On The Fringe (IRE) Enda Bolger, Ireland 12st 0lb Mr J. J. Codd 7/4 Fav
PU BEF 17 Sizing Solution (IRE) (Tongue Strap) J. T. R. Dreaper, Ireland 12st 0lb Mr R. O. Harding 66/1
UR 3 Distime (IRE) Mrs A. J. Loder 12st 0lb Ms K. Walsh 20/1
UR 7 Never Complain (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Mrs F. Marshall 12st 0lb Mr Charlie Marshall 100/1
UR 9 Premier Portrait (IRE) (Visor) Dr Charles Levinson 12st 0lb Mr G. Levinson 100/1
Tote Tote Win: £20.60 Places: £5.30 £3 £7.80 Exacta: £99.20