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Grand National Festival: The last four winners of the Bowl

The upcoming Grand National Festival will have horse racing fans up and down the nation rubbing their hands in anticipation. Just as the dust settles on last month’s Cheltenham Festival, before we know it, we’ll be relaxing in our favourite spot on the sofa for another few days of top-class racing, which will of course be topped off by the latest renewal of the Grand National.

The Aintree meeting will kick off with Liverpool’s NHS Day on April 8th, followed by Ladies’ Day, before wrapping up with the National on April 10th, which will undoubtedly steal all the headlines. But, with Grade 1 races scattered across the three days, there is still plenty to get excited about, and that includes day one’s feature race, the Bowl.

The three-mile, one-furlong race was first introduced in 1984 and it is often littered with Gold Cup entries from the month prior. So, as we await the confirmed runners, let’s take a look at the racing results from the last five years.

2019 – Kemboy

With the 2020 renewal of the Bowl cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kemboy, along with jockey Ruby Walsh and trainer Willie Mullins, were the last winners of the Grade 1 race. The jockey/trainer duo had both tasted success in the race before. However, this was their maiden triumph together. Kemboy had fallen in the Gold Cup, but there was no sign of rustiness as he romped over the line nine lengths clear. With another disappointing outing at Cheltenham, it looks likely that Mullins will keep Kemboy on home soil in Ireland this year.

2018 – Might Bite

After an epic encounter with Native River in the Gold Cup just a few weeks prior, which Might Bite came out on the wrong side of, there were some concerns surrounding the Nicky Henderson-trained horse’s fitness heading into the Bowl. However, the then nine-year-old showed no sign of fatigue as he raced home over seven lengths clear of Bristol De Mai. It was a fantastic end to the season for Might Bite, who had also won the King George VI Chase at Kempton in December.

2017 – Tea For Two

Jockey Lizzie Kelly showed incredible resilience to bounce back from major disappointment in the Gold Cup to go on and win the Bowl aboard Tea For Two. Kelly was in the saddle of the Nick Williams-trained horse for her maiden outing in the Cheltenham showpiece. However, the pair were dealt a crushing blow when they fell at just the second hurdle. Following their performance in the Gold Cup, Tea For Two headed to Aintree as a 10/1 outsider. But the pair went on to deny defending champion Cue Card by a neck.

2016 – Cue Card

Cue Card brought a wealth of success to Colin Tizzard’s yard. In fact, by the time he won the Bowl in 2016, he already had Ryanair Chase, Betfair Chase and King George VI Chase triumphs on his CV. He entered the Bowl as the 6/5F and duly delivered once again for Tizzard, winning the race by an impressive nine lengths. As retirement beckons for the English trainer, he’ll be hoping for one last hurrah in the race this year.