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Thursday: Horse Racing Preview

Whether he gets any invites to the Emirates Stadium this season is debatable, but Sean Bowen has no intention of “doing an Arsenal”.

That was the phrase the Welsh jockey used this week in a TV interview when asked if he could hold onto his lead at the top of the Jump Jockeys Championship.

Wales’ top rider is galloping away at the summit of the Championship with a commanding lead, having saddled 61 winners so far this season – 28 ahead of Brian Hughes.

Asked if he was confident of holding his advantage, Bowen replied that if he didn’t he would be the “Arsenal of the weighing room” – a reference to the Gunners’ lead over Manchester City last season which was eventually overturned in the race to the Premier League title.

Just like City and Pep Guardiola, Hughes has won the Championship in three of the last four campaigns.

Bowen can stretch his advantage over Hughes at Worcester Racecourse on Thursday, where he has four rides, including the fancied Judge Earl in the opener, a handicap chase for four-year-olds with seven runners.

Bowen also Fairlawn Flyer in the 2.50, and then En Avant in the 4.00pm, before finishing his day’s work on board Bensini in the 4.30pm.

“It has gone brilliantly for me so far this season and although it’s hard to maintain the current strike rate, that is certainly the aim,” says Bowen, whose father Peter is trainer to Judge Earl.

“I have good trainers to ride for, plenty of support behind me, and so hopefully this run can continue.

“I love my job and it definitely helps when you love what you’re doing. You want to succeed and you want to work harder.”

Bowen’s dominance of the jump jockeys’ championship continued on Tuesday as he notched his 61st winner of the season aboard River Of Joy in the 2m4f mares’ novice hurdle.

He moved 28 winners clear of defending champion Hughes (33), while Harry Cobden closed the gap to second place with a double taking his tally to 30.

There is also a jump meeting at Limerick on Thursday, with flat racing scheduled for Sandown, Doncaster, Yarmouth and Newbury.

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