Young and the old in Welsh Grand National

Raz De Maree & James Bowen
Raz De Maree & James Bowen win Welsh National Hurdle

The youngest rider in the Welsh Grand National has ridden one of the oldest horses to win the race at Chepstow.

Runner-up in 2016, 13-year-old Raz De Maree (16-1) stayed on stoutly for 16-year-old James Bowen and Irish trainer Gavin Cromwell.

Bowen has been making great strides in his first full season as a conditional rider and he pushed on from the last fence to deny Alfie Spinner, another 13-year-old, by six lengths.

“He’s only a few years younger than me!” Bowen said.

“We didn’t travel anywhere at all and I thought we’d do well to get round and pick up a place.

“Once he passed a few horses, he then picked up the bit and we ended up getting there too soon.

“It’s amazing to win. You grow up watching these races at home and to win it in my first (full) season riding is amazing.”

Cromwell was complimentary about Bowen’s efforts.

“He gave him a peach of a ride,” he said.

“He was flat to the boards down the back, but he didn’t panic and he stayed on. This is fantastic, just brilliant.

“He’s the oldest horse since the war apparently and only the second Irish winner. It’s fantastic.

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