What happened next to the last five winners of the Aintree Bowl?
The 2021 Grand National Festival gets underway this week, with three days of top-class racing leading up to the eponymous main event – the Grand National. On the opening day at Aintree, the feature race is the Aintree Bowl – and after last year’s edition was cancelled, there’s no doubt that punters are checking the latest Aintree betting odds to find out the favourite. But who were the last five winners, and what happened next in their racing careers?
The 9/4 favourite in 2019, ridden by Ruby Walsh, was a resounding winner – beating Clan Des Obeaux by nine lengths. And the nine-year-old trained by Willie Mullins has had a decent career in Ireland. Kemboy went on to win the Punchestown Gold Cup after his big win on the Aintree circuit, and after finishing second at Leopardstown in the 2020 Irish Gold Cup, he went one better and won it last
February. His form was looking good, up until Kemboy’s most recent run out at the Cheltenham Festival – a ninth-placed finish in the prestigious Gold Cup.
2018: Might Bite
A 2018 win in the Aintree Bowl marks the last time that Might Bite won a race – when he went out the 5/4 favourite, with Nico de Boinville in the saddle. Sadly, the gelding has never been able to replicate the same kind of form as he did prior to success in the Grade One race. In two subsequent entries at Aintree, Might Bite first unseated his rider in the Many Clouds Chase (December 2019), before being pulled up in last December’s Grand Sefton Handicap Chase. Nicky Henderson retired the 12-year-old and former King George VI winner earlier this year.
2017: Tea For Two
In dramatic fashion, the 10/1 chance won the 2017 Aintree Bowl by a neck, over the previous year’s winner Cue Card. The Grand National Festival win marking a final of the gelding’s career. The following year, ridden by Lizzie Kelly once more, Tea For Two could only finish sixth in a field of eight in the same race, before entering the Grand National in 2019. He was pulled up after two out, and only went on to place once more. Tea For Two was retired by connections in December 2019, after finishing eighth in the Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.
2016: Cue Card
Cue Card was an impressive winner back in 2016, with the 6/5 favourite landing a nine-length victory over Don Poli in the Aintree Bowl. The previous year, he has won three Chases, including the King George VI at Kempton, by a head. The Colin Tizzard-trained gelding went on to win both the Lancashire Chase at Haydock and the Ascot Chase, before placing in both races the following year. After being pulled up in the 2018 Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham, Cue Card was retired that April, before embarking on a new career.
2015: Silviniaco Conti
The 2014-15 back-to-back winner of the Aintree Bowl had quite the illustrious career, also winning consecutive races such as the Betfair Chase and King George VI Chase. In the 28 Chases he entered in his career, Silviniaco Conti won 11, placing a further seven times, and he often fared well over the Aintree fences – winning three races from five on the mildmay circuit. After finishing sixth out of seven in the 2017 Aintree Bowl, trainer Paul Nicholls confirmed his retirement, and after taking part in team chasing, Silviniaco Conti sadly died from injury, at the age of 11.