Lady Bowthorpe edges Dahlia tussle

Lady Bowthorpe came out on top in a thrilling three-way finish to the Betfair Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket.

The William Jarvis-trained five-year-old edged out Queen Power and Lavender’s Blue to claim the Group Two prize.

Freyja set a steady pace in the early stages – with Lady Bowthorpe, who got warm in the preliminaries, towards the rear under a patient ride from Kieran Shoemark.

He brought the daughter of Nathaniel to challenge on the far side of the course, and the 6-1 shot got the verdict by a head from 2-1 favourite Queen Power in a exciting conclusion to the nine-furlong contest.

Lavender’s Blue, who held every chance, was just behind in third.

Jarvis said: “She was fantastic when she won her Group Three at Ascot last summer, and maybe things didn’t go quite right when she ran at Sandown next time with a penalty.

“She then ran in the Sun Chariot, which was maybe a step too far for her on very heavy ground.

“Literally in the last week she has really come to hand, and I was desperate to run her today. We were concerned about the ground, and I walked the course a couple of times. I felt it was safe racing ground and let her take her chance.

“She’s a very special filly, and I think she will hopefully continue to improve as the year goes on.

“She does take a bit of managing, but these tricky women sometimes give you the most pleasure!”

On future plans, he added: “She’s in the Duke of Cambridge at Royal Ascot. I didn’t put her in the Queen Anne, because if we can keep her to her own sex it’s to her favour.

“We’ll have a talk about the Lockinge. I think we’ll probably give it a swerve – but if Palace Pier was to miss out, we might let her take her chance.

“It’s a big thrill to win today. We don’t have a lot of horses in our stable – so when you’ve got a good one, you’ve got to make the most of them.

“Any winner is great, but I was born and bred in Newmarket and have lived here all my life, so it’s great.”

Lady Bowthorpe and Kieran Shoemark win the Betfair Dahlia Stakes
Lady Bowthorpe and Kieran Shoemark win the Betfair Dahlia Stakes (David Davies/Jockey Club)

Shoemark, riding his first two Group Two winner, said: “She’s a very talented filly, and I’m sure she’ll come on for today.

“She’s got away with the ground today, but will be a better filly on easier ground.

“She was a little bit delicate mentally as a three-year-old, but she’s maturing with each run – I believe there’s a Group One in her.

“This is my first Group Two winner, and I couldn’t have ridden it for a nicer guy than William Jarvis, who is so passionate about his racing. It’s just as good for him as it is for me to have a winner on a big stage.”

Queen Power connections retain full faith ahead of Newmarket return

Queen Power bids to go one better than last season when she lines up for the Betfair Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket on Sunday.

The mare, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, made good late progress to get within a length and a quarter of Terebellum.

Queen Power backed that up that promising reappearance by running third to Nazeef in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot and then she was fourth to Fancy Blue in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

Her season was cut short due to training issues after she disappointed when third at Salisbury as the evens favourite in a Listed contest. However, she is reported to be ready to return to action.

“She’s doing well very well. Sir Michael is very pleased with her. She ran very well in this race last year and we hope she can go one better,” said Alastair Donald, racing manager for owners King Power Racing.

“She had a bit of an interrupted season last year. We still believe we’ve not seen the best of her yet.

“It was nothing serious. She had some niggles that kept her off. She’s had a clear run now. We’d be hopeful of a good run. She deserves to win a Group race at some point.”

Lady Bowthorpe opened her Group-race account in the Valiant Fillies’ Stakes at Ascot in July. Her trainer William Jarvis is happy with the daughter of Nathaniel, who ended her 2020 campaign finishing sixth to Nazeef in the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.

“She’s been working very well and looks in great condition for her first start of the season,” said the Newmarket handler.

“Probably in an ideal world we could do with a drop of rain, but I’m sure it will be good, safe ground.

“I couldn’t be happier with her and I’m very much looking forward to her running. I think she’s in a good place at the moment.”

Richard Hannon is pleased with Posted after she showed her well-being at exercise earlier this week.

“Posted did a bit of work on Tuesday, and she’s not pulling half as much as she did last year. She seems to have grown up a little bit, so I would think she’d have a very good chance,” he said.

“It all depends on how she runs, but she will hopefully be good enough for some big races this year.”

Lavender’s Blue and Fooraat, who were first and second in the Listed Snowdrop Stakes at Kempton four weeks ago, renew rivalry while Freyja, Indie Angel and Norma complete the eight-runner field.