Delight For All

Lady Bowthorpe galloped first past the post in the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last Thursday with Kieran Shoemark on board.

In late 2018, Shoemark was banned for six months following a positive test for cocaine. It was a major setback for Shoemark that was followed by a commendably honest admission of his issues with substance abuse. It’s great to see his hard work pay off.

‘In the last day or so, I’ve been imagining crossing the line in front,’ Shoemark said afterwards, ‘but I think it will not sink in until later. Without sounding too confident, I always believed if I got myself clean and sober that I would get to where I wanted to be.

My career is back on track now. I’m really enjoying the racing and to be involved in these huge days is what it’s all about. I’ve won a Group One today, but I’m already looking forward to the next one.

The pressure kind of went out the window a bit when there were only six runners declared,’ he said ‘and when I hit the front, she’s so genuine that I knew she wasn’t going to stop.

I’ve got a lot of good friends in the weighing room, so to see that [reception] means a lot. They’ve all been very supportive and I’m delighted to be where I am today, I’m friends with all of them. I had six months off, went into rehab and took it all very seriously, and it’s paid off.’

Lady Bowthorpe’s trainer, William Jarvis, celebrated his first Group One win for 27 years since Grand Lodge’s triumph in the 1994 St James’s Palace Stakes.

‘I think she deserved it. She’d been knocking at the door in a couple of other Group Ones, so it was a very special day.

I’ve never lost faith in myself as a trainer,’ Jarvis said. ‘Quite a lot of other people may well have done, which is why we’ve only got 28 or 29 horses in the yard.

However, I’ve got a lovely bunch of staff working for me and they’ve never lost faith in the way that we operate, and they give me everything. We are a family unit and there is a lot of loyalty involved, including with Kieran, who I’m delighted for. There was a lot of pressure from outside, people saying we should do this or that, but it never really crossed our minds.

I’m thrilled for Kieran. He is a delightful young man who has impeccable manners. He obviously went through a bad place, but he came out through the other end and he’s a delight to work with.’

The Nathaniel mare won the Group Two Dahlia Stakes on her first start of this season and has since finished second to star miler Palace Pier in the Lockinge, runner-up in the Duke of Cambridge at Royal Ascot and an unlucky fourth in the Falmouth Stakes.

This race at Goodwood saw her step up to a mile and a quarter for the first time, and her stamina certainly stood the test.

However, Lady Bowthorpe’s fate could have been very different. Back in 2018 she endured an injury after working on the Newmarket gallops.

Jarvis recalled, ‘She worked well, but pulled up on three legs. Her next journey was straight from the gallops to the Newmarket Equine Hospital in a horse ambulance.

Although she’s got five screws in a cannon bone, you wouldn’t know it and she’s been able to realise all her potential. That was at a very early stage of her career, but we always thought she was very nice; it was a worrying time.

She always looked as though she’d come back and we’ve had no repercussions since. In fact, she’s very sound, stronger and more versatile than ever.’

This will sound familiar to owners of Old Gold Racing’s Henry Box Brown, who recently underwent the same procedure. We can only hope he finds similar success in the future!

Looking forward, Jarvis is eyeing up the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville and has reported that a trip to Hong Kong could even be on the cards… but he will be letting the dust settle before putting any plans in motion.