Star 17-year-old rider shortlisted for BBC award

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  • Rising star of the weighing room James Bowen has made the final 10 in the running for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2018.

    The 17-year-old champion conditional jockey is in only his second season riding as a professional after stellar pony racing years as a young teenager and a record-breaking season point-to-pointing in 2017.

    Past winners of the prestigious award include Ellie Simmonds, Wayne Rooney, Tom Daley and Andy Murray.

    James’ career highlights to date include winning the 2018 Welsh Grand National on Raz De Maree at Chepstow in January, the youngest ever winner of the race.

    He also won the 2017/18 Stobart Conditional Jockeys Championship, riding 58 winners, and is leading this year’s contest with 38 victories — 25 ahead of nearest rival Bryony Frost.

    In 2017, James smashed the record for the number of point-to-point winners ridden by a novice rider. Despite only starting the season on 12 March that year — his 16th birthday — he rode a winner on his first ride between the flags, going on to take 29 more that season.

    The BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year will be announced at the BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards at the SSE Arena, Wembley, on Sunday (21 October).

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    Also in contention are 100m WPA European champion para-athlete Kare Adenegan, 17, Commonweath and European medal-winning swimmer Freya Anderson, 17, European under-18 800m champion athlete Max Burgin, 16, and 2018 Wimbledon boys’ singles runner-up Jack Draper, 16.

    Competing the shortlist are Commonwealth Games medal-winning gymnast Georgia-Mae Fenton, 17, British under-18 number one table tennis player Anna Hursey, 12, Castleford Tigers rugby player Georgia Roche, 17, Premier League footballer Ryan Sessegnon, 18, and record-breaking para swimmer Maisie Summers-Newton, 16.

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