👑 Back-to-back victories in the Grade 1 Betway Bowl for Clan Des Obeaux!
First-time blinkers do the trick as the 10-year-old bounces back to his best to score for @PFNicholls and @CobdenHarry @AintreeRaces | #RandoxGrandNational pic.twitter.com/Z8AhHIe8nb
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 7, 2022
Success for Sir Alex on Merseyside as Clan Des Obeaux wins Aintree Bowl again
There were jubilations amongst all those associated with Clan Des Obeaux as the 10-year-old won the Grade 1 Aintree Bowl for the second successive year. Part-owner, Sir Alex Ferguson loved many a victory on Merseyside during his days as Manchester United boss, and it marked his third win in the race – having part-owned 2010 winner What A Friend.
It was a turn up for the books, and those checking the pre-race horse racing betting odds, as favourite Protekrorat was consigned to fourth place, some 25 lengths short. However, Clan Des Obeaux got one over long-standing rival Kemboy. The two met in the 2019 race, which the latter won by nine lengths, before Clan Des Obeaux won the race last year, behind closed doors.
This time, the margin of victory was much closer, with Gordon Elliott’s Conflated finishing a length behind in second place. Kemboy came in third.
After the race, Ferguson said:
“Racing is part of my life more than football now. I’ve a few with [co-owner] Ged [Mason] and John Hales and we got great enjoyment last year winning three Grade Ones here. I never won three in a row at Anfield, that’s for sure. I need to speak to Paul [Nicholls] about the Grand National [next year]. He will be 11 and it is probably the one thing to try at his age.”
While it was a result that jockey Harry Cobden had to grind out, it marked a return to winning ways – with Clan Des Obeaux not winning in either of his last two outings this season, and his last victory coming in the Punchestown Gold Cup last April. Post-Aintree, the Grade 1 race is very much the aim again. It was the first time the 10-year-old had raced wearing blinkers, and jockey Cobden was delighted with how his ride performed.
“That was fantastic. I thought today was the day to cash in on him in first-time blinkers. He jumped brilliantly and won really nicely. I probably went a bit too soon on him, but we got the job done.”
The victory also further cemented Paul Nicholls’ name as the leading trainer in the Aintree Bowl – taking his victories up to six. It was also the second double he achieved in the Grade 1 race, having been successful in 2014-15 (Silviniaco Conti), with further victories in 2000 (See More Business) and 2010 (What A Friend).
Before the Punchestown Gold Cup, there’s also Gold Cup Day at Sandown, where Nicholls is looking to land an exceptional 13th Champion Trainers title. While the Brit failed to secure any wins at the Cheltenham Festival last month – for a second year running – he made up for it at Aintree, also winning the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle and the Handicap Hurdle. And the Ditcheat trainer was pleased the barren spell had come to an end.
“Some haven’t run as well as I’d have liked and I’ve been pulling my hair out since Christmas. To get him back looking like that was a fantastic team effort and I’m thrilled,”he said, before continuing:
“That’s a big boost for us. Winners like that are a help and we’ve got plenty more to run this week, and there’s still plenty of racing left with two weeks to go until Sandown.”