Please Note: Next Race meeting is Wednesday 24th April 2024

Bowenspark Given Cheltenham Festival Entries for Local Trainer Henry Daly

Henry Daly has made two entries at the Cheltenham Festival in 2024 for his promising novice Bowenspark. He has been entered into the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle and Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. A decision on which of those races he features in is likely to be made at the declaration stage.

Stratford winner has built on bumper campaign

The six-year-old began his career over hurdles at Stratford where he was an impressive winner of a novice hurdle, scoring by 11 lengths. As a result of that success, he is now 66/1 in the betting on horse racing for the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle.

Irish star hurdler Ballyburn is the favourite for the day two contest and has been put up as the best Cheltenham 2024 bet of the meeting by many pundits in the sport. With that in mind, a step up to 3m is likely to be considered by Daly to avoid the recent Grade I winner.

Daly showed enough confidence in his leading novice to run him in Grade II company on just his second appearance over hurdles. He featured in the Newton Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock, but he fell at the final obstacle of the race which was won by Kamsinas.

The novice hurdler was able to finish on his most recent appearance at Fontwell. He came home second of 13 runners behind Risk De Pluie at the West Sussex-based venue. Although he had to settle for the runner-up spot, Daly was pleased with the way his horse bounced back from his fall. He battled all the way to the finish line to take one of the minor honours.

Bowenspark is now in his second season of his career for Daly. He won his opening two starts in National Hunt Flat races last year before finishing fourth place in the Grade II  National Hunt Bumper at the Grand National Meeting at Aintree. He was just over two lengths behind the winner in what was an eye-catching run in the leading bumper contest in Liverpool.

Aintree also an option again

Daly will also be considering some of the major novice races at Aintree in April for his hurdler. The Top Novices Hurdle, a race over the extended 2m distance, and the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle over 3m½f are both suitable options for his horse.

The Shropshire trainer will be hoping Bowenspark can go on to emulate Hillcrest on the track this year. His latest star hurdler runs in the same silks as the Grade Two winner who helped put him back on the map in the sport. Daly hasn’t scored in a graded race at Liverpool’s Spring meeting since Mighty Man collected the Liverpool Long Distance Hurdle in 2007.

Should Bowenspark prevail in one of the major novice races at the Cheltenham Festival or Grand National meeting, it would be a major tonic for a yard that has been short of the top flight this season.

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