The son of a point-to-point rider, Robert Cowell grew up in Norfolk and started working for Newmarket trainer Gavin Pritchard-Gordon as soon as he left school.
As well as helping with the training, Cowell also took out an amateur jockey licence and went on to enjoy 10 wins under rules in Britain and France.
After a spell with David Nicholson, Cowell travelled far and wide, gaining valuable experience with John Hammond in France and Neil Drysdale in the USA. He initially took out his training licence at Hollywood Park, California in 1996, but returned to Britain the following year to continue his career in Newmarket.
He celebrated a first British success with Mary Conwallis at Lingfield in January 1998 and has since gained a reputation of improving horses who have lost their way.
Stable star Prohibit, who gave his trainer a memorable first Group 1 success in the 2011 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, the second sprint race in the QIPCO British Champions Series, has proved to be a prime example of Cowell’s ability, having risen through the handicapping ranks to become a major force in top level sprints. He has now been retired.
In 2012 he saddled Spirit Quartz to finish runner-up to Ortensia in the Coolmore Nunthrope Stakes at York while in 2013 he won the opening Sprint race in the QIPCO British Champions Series, the Betfred Temple Stakes, with Kingsgate Native. The "sprint king" followed that with victory for 40-1 shot Jwala in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, race five in the Sprint category. Jwala was then a close fourth in the Prix de l’Abbaye before being tragically killed when squeezed for room and falling in the Longines Hong Kong Sprint.
In 2015, Goldream landed the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot for Cowell at 20-1 and proved that was no fluke when landing the Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye later in the year.
BCS Career statistics
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