An appearance at Royal Ascot is likely to be next on the agenda for Lady Bowthorpe following her excellent effort in defeat in Saturday’s Lockinge Stakes.
Having made a successful start to her campaign with a narrow defeat of subsequent winner Queen Power in Newmarket’s Dahlia Stakes, the Nathaniel mare stepped up to the highest level to take on the boys at Newbury.
While no match for the brilliant Palace Pier, Lady Bowthorpe pulled clear of the remainder in second, leaving trainer William Jarvis justifiably proud of his charge’s performance.
He said: “She was fine this morning. She was tired and knows she had a hard race yesterday, but she’s a pretty strong filly and I think she’ll be over it in 48 hours.
“We’re thrilled with her. To finish five and a half lengths clear of a pretty rock solid horse (Top Rank) was a very good performance.
“We’ll give her an easy-ish time, but she’s not a filly you can take it too easy with for too long as she bounces back pretty quick. Let’s hope that’s the case and we’ll look forward to her next run.”
The Newmarket handler confirmed a return to Group Two level for next month’s Duke of Cambridge Stakes is set to be next for Lady Bowthorpe, but he is hoping she can strike gold in Group One company before the season is out.
“The Duke of Cambridge seems the obvious race. The timing fits and it looks like the place to go,” Jarvis added.
“It is a Group Two of course, so we’ve got a 3lb penalty, but it could be a stepping-stone to races like the Falmouth or the Nassau Stakes. The programme slightly maps itself out for her.
“I’m dying to go 10 furlongs with her, for sure. There’s lots to look forward to – I’m very excited to have her.”
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Palace Pier showed a brilliant turn of foot to power to glory in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.
One of last year’s pre-eminent milers, the John and Thady Gosden-trained colt returned to action in style last month at Sandown, tuning up perfectly for his latest Group One assignment.
Settled towards the rear of the pack as Lord Campari took them along, jockey Frankie Dettori was assessing dangers approaching two furlongs out – and, satisfied the time was right, he let the 1-2 favourite go about his business.
The response was electric – but runner-up Lady Bowthorpe ran the race of her life to make sure it was not just a procession.
In the end a comfortable length and a half was the winning margin, with Top Rank also emerging with plenty of credit in third, another five and a half lengths back.
John Gosden said: “He’s a lovely horse, he relaxed well in the race – he got a little bit squeezed leaving the gate, Frankie said he got back further than he wanted.
“He came through very nicely, he said he had it won two out – he had to go. He got a little bit lonely looking around in front ,and I thought the filly ran a great race to be second. I’m thrilled for them.
“I think he would (get a mile and a quarter), he relaxes so well – you can put him where you want in a race, so to that extent we could do (step up), but it’s pretty obvious at this stage to go to the Queen Anne (at Royal Ascot) and think about it after that, whether we want to change trip.
“I could see that (Juddmonte International) as a very possible target for him – as you know Royal Ascot to the Eclipse is very tight, about 16 days, so that’s quite tough if they’ve had a hard race at Ascot to come back in 16 days.
“I think the Juddmonte would be a strong possibility, but there is a little race in France called the Prix Jacques le Marois at the same time, although getting to France is quite difficult now.
“He’s a son of Kingman. Kingman is a horse I could have brought back and run in the July Cup over six furlongs, he was that fast – whereas this horse has got from the dam’s side the ability to stay.”
As for the gallant runner-up, William Jarvis is also planning to go to the Royal meeting, for the Duke of Cambridge Stakes, before heading for the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket’s July fixture.
Jarvis said: “I hate finishing second, but I didn’t expect to win necessarily today – it was only if Palace Pier didn’t turn up, and I think he did run his race. I think we made him battle, and we are five lengths clear of the third.
“I think it was a pretty good performance. I’m delighted with her.”
Lady Bowthorpe is primed to produce her new personal best in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes for trainer William Jarvis and owner Emma Banks.
The mare was last seen winning Newmarket’s Group Two Dahlia Stakes by a head, from subsequent Middleton Stakes heroine Queen Power, and in doing so provided Jarvis with his biggest success in more than 25 years.
A step up in class therefore beckons in Saturday’s Group One over a mile at Newbury – in which John and Thady Gosden’s Palace Pier dominates the market as odds-on favourite.
Lady Bowthorpe is a 33-1 chance in a field of 12, but the team behind her is not unsettled by her outsider status.
“I’ve been thrilled with her,” said Jarvis.
“She’s come out of the Dahlia Stakes really well – and she did a nice, good swinging canter this morning.”
“James, who rides her, expressed huge satisfaction and pleasure and said she felt every bit as good as she did going into the Dahlia Stakes.
“We haven’t galloped her as such, but you’d like to think there was a bit of improvement in her.”
Jarvis knows that improvement will be necessary if Lady Bowthorpe is to hold her own against the likes of Palace Pier and Aidan O’Brien’s Lope Y Fernandez.
“I’ve got a huge amount of respect for Palace Pier,” he said.
“He looks the standout horse, and Aidan (O’Brien) doesn’t bring a horse over from Ballydoyle unless he thinks they’re a live Group One contender.
“It looks a pretty strong field – she’ll have to run a personal best to get involved, but I see no reason why she can’t.
“She comes from off the pace, so hopefully there’ll be enough pace on our side – that’s crucial.
“She handled the ground at Newmarket beautifully, and I think good to soft will be perfect for her.
“She’s got to up her her game, she’s got to improve. But she’s as good as I can get her, she’s in rude health – and we’ll find out on Saturday whether she’s up to it.”
Banks will also be in attendance for the race, part of the mile category in this year’s Qipco British Champions Series.
A music agent for industry leaders Creative Arts Agency, Lady Bowthorpe’s enthusiastic owner represents some of the world’s most best-known acts – with Katy Perry, Arcade Fire, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kylie Minogue and Green Day all clients.
She is used to dealing with talented and often mercurial characters, and can identify similarities between the human and equine stars in her life.
“If you’re hugely talented, often you’re not the easiest person to deal with – be it equine or human,” said Banks.
“All of my best horses have been the ones that probably need a bit more psychology attached to them, and that’s possibly true with some of my clients as well.”
The owner also pointed out parallels between her own line of work and that of Jarvis.
“There are some similarities – what I do for a job is plot and plan a music artist’s career,” she said.
“What William does, and I then butt in occasionally, is plot and plan a horse’s career.
“Some are at the top level and some are working every couple of weeks, but it’s still about planning and organising. It’s not where you are today – it’s about where it leads you tomorrow that I think is really important.”
Underpinning Banks’ passion for racing is her love of horses, and that appreciation for the racehorse allows her to apply the same measures of success to her equines as she does to her clients.
“I love the horses, that’s where it starts for me,” she said.
“If I go to the yard, and William goes in for a cup of tea, I can go through three packets of polos and stroke them – I go a bit Pony Club, and I’m fine with that!
“I really love the horses. When they’re talented and can win a race, or even when they put a good run in and have a personal best, that to me is a huge win.
“A huge win for me in my job is not necessarily if you headline Glastonbury or play Wembley Stadium, it’s doing the best you can at the stage you’re at in your career. Sometimes selling that 200 capacity venue is as big a deal as selling out Wembley arena, it’s all relative.”
Success this weekend would be a huge achievement by anyone’s standards, especially for a smaller team taking on the major racing operations like Ballydoyle and the Gosdens.
“Whatever happens, I know she’ll do her best. William’s done a great job, and everyone on the yard.
“It’s a long season, but this fitted in really well – and if you don’t try, you’re never going to know.
“There is nowhere in the world I’d rather be than at Newbury on Saturday.”
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Palace Pier is on course to try to extend his Group One-winning CV as one of 16 contenders left in Newbury’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes.
Trained by John and Thady Gosden, Palace Pier’s only career defeat to date came when third in last October’s QEII Stakes on Champions Day on unsuitably soft ground.
Palace Pier has since looked very classy when winning the bet365 Mile at Sandown by eight lengths on his reappearance this season.
Aidan O’Brien has left in just one possible on Saturday in Lope Y Fernandez, having taken out the likes of Order of Australia and Mogul.
James Tate is running his stable star Top Rank following a very impressive return to action at Doncaster, and the lightly-raced five-year-old looks to still have more to offer.
“It’s easy to say ‘never be afraid of one horse’ but the point is as a Listed winner and Group Three winner, if you said we could definitely be second on Saturday, I’d be satisfied,” said Tate.
“It’s a Group One, worth lot of money, and we’ll be doing our best to win. He’s in good form – and I think a straight, flat mile at Newbury will suit, and probably the forecast ground (good to soft) too.
“He did look very impressive at Doncaster, and if you took Palace Pier out or you were in a Group Two you’d be very optimistic. But you can’t do that – we’re in a Group One, and arguably Europe’s best miler is in there.
“But you can’t be afraid of one horse – the favourite does not win most of the time, so hopefully he’ll go there and do us proud.”
William Haggas’ My Oberon is another who looks capable of mixing it at a higher level, having won the Earl Of Sefton Stakes on his return to action.
David O’Meara’s grand servant Lord Glitters, the Charlie Hills-trained duo of Pogo and Tilsit and John Quinn’s Safe Voyage are among others left in.
William Jarvis’ Lady Bowthorpe is the only mare in contention.
The combination of likely fast ground and travel complications mean The Revenant will run closer to home rather than go to Newbury for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes.
Trained by Francis-Henri Graffard, The Revenant won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day in October – having finished second to King Of Change in the corresponding race 12 months earlier.
A real mud lover, the six-year-old is now likely to run at Saint-Cloud on Saturday in the Prix du Muguet.
The Revenant was third on his comeback at Saint-Cloud in a Group Three this month, and Graffard has indicated he will have a Royal Ascot entry.
He said: “Everything is fine with the horse – it is just at the moment the ground is pretty dry everywhere, and it is so complicated to travel for the staff and the jockey
“We have everything against us, so I think we will just stay at home and run on Saturday in the Prix du Muguet.
“He will have an entry in the Queen Anne, but it will depend on things. We know he is very competitive in the autumn. We could save him until then – but on the other hand he is a gelding with very few miles on the clock, so he can run again.
“He will have an entry for (Royal) Ascot, but for the Lockinge it was just too hard to organise everything.”
Another star in Graffard’s stable is last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runner-up In Swoop, who also finished second on his comeback at ParisLongchamp recently.
“I was pleased with that run, because he’s a big horse and he needed the run,” said Graffard.
“He’ll come on for that and he’s going to run in a Group Three at Deauville in a few weeks.
“He’s entered in the Coronation Cup, so we’ll see how he is before that. Hopefully (Grand Prix de) Saint-Cloud can be a target for him this summer (July 4).
“He doesn’t need soft ground – he can go on any ground.”
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