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Lady is a champ for emotional Jarvis

In 1994 William Jarvis trained Grand Lodge to win the St James’s Palace Stakes at Ascot, after which he amusingly described the colt as “a very easy horse to train…even I can’t bugger him up.”

In 2021 the trainer tasted top-flight glory again, though this time there were less witticisms and more weeping as Lady Bowthorpe took the Qatar Nassau Stakes and ended a Group One drought that had lasted for 24 years.

The mare is owned by music agent Emma Banks, the genius behind acts such as Florence + The Machine, Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Usually such a figure would eclipse the humble folk found in racing yards, but the other characters in this victory tell an equally compelling tale.

William Jarvis after Lady Bowthorpe's victory
William Jarvis after Lady Bowthorpe’s victory (John Walton/PA)

The jockey on board was Kieran Shoemark, a young rider who displayed startling honesty when not only readily accepting a six-month suspension for cocaine use, but welcoming the sanction and openly professing his reliance on drugs and alcohol.

He even publicly encouraged more stringent routine tests, such was his determination to seek help and rid himself of his addiction.

That determination has served him well, as has his association with Jarvis and Banks, who have been unwavering in their support for Shoemark since his return to the saddle following a stint in rehab facility.

This season has not always rewarded them with the success their loyalty deserves. Lady Bowthorpe may have made a winning start to her campaign in the Dahlia Stakes, but runs in the Lockinge and the Duke of Cambridge both saw her finish runner-up, although there was little lost in finishing behind Palace Pier in the Newbury showpiece.

The mare then took on the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket, but her luck had well and truly deserted her on that occasion and Jarvis cried tears of frustration at the July Course as she came home in fourth after a troubled passage through the race.

But a season of misfortune is no match for the stoicism of Jarvis, who has waited over two decades to saddle another Group One winner and has not yet lost patience with a sport where notable successes are increasingly falling into the hands of a dwindling number of stables.

At Goodwood the just deserts were finally served as Lady Bowthorpe (100-30) roared to a superb victory under Shoemark, who rode as if this performance alone was his one chance to repay the faith shown in both his ability and his character.

Jarvis’ path from the stands to the the winner’s enclosure was continually blocked by well-wishers and hat-tippers, his tearful family members embraced one another and Lady Bowthorpe returned imperious to great applause, her owner proudly at her side.

As the trainer spoke to the media his tears subsided, but the mention of his small team of staff was enough to bring them to the surface again.

“It’s fantastic, we’ve dreamt about this for a long time, we knew she was special,” he said.

“I think after she won the Dahlia Stakes that was when I, personally, thought she should have the Nassau Stakes on her radar and we sort of worked back a little bit.

“Having said that, she hasn’t missed a beat, we went Dahlia, Lockinge, Royal Ascot, Newmarket, she’s a very tough mare.

“I’ve been dying to run her over 10 furlongs for a long time, but events transpired against us until today. Anyway, I think she has proved that she’s even better over 10 than she is at a mile.

“I’m so chuffed for the team at home more than anything else, they’ve worked incredibly hard, we only have a staff of seven or eight.

“They all just work so hard for Lady Bowthorpe, it’s all due to them.”

Shoemark celebrating as he crosses the line
Shoemark celebrating as he crosses the line (John Walton/PA)

Shoemark’s road to redemption was a similarly emotive topic and it was on this theme, of loyalty and faith, that Jarvis concluded that it was his retained faith in himself that was perhaps most important of all.

“I’ve never lost faith in myself as a racehorse trainer, quite a lot of other people may have done,” he said.

“Maybe that’s why we’ve only got 28 horses in the yard, but after today we may have another two or another three.

“I’ve got a lovely bunch of staff working for me and they’re fantastic, they’ve never lost faith in me and they give me everything.

“It’s a real family unit and we’re very proud that we have a lot of loyalty, we’ve been loyal to Kieran and I’m delighted we stuck with him.

“We’re very humbled by it, I like to think I’m a modest person and I’ve endured a few lows, but we’ll celebrate today.

“It’s a really special day.”

Fanshawe has confidence in adaptable Audarya

James Fanshawe is confident Audarya can handle testing conditions as she seeks her third Group One victory in the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

A Monday night storm saw the ground turn predominately heavy for the opening day of the Glorious fixture, but it improved to soft, good to soft in places by Wednesday morning, with the possibility of further showers throughout the week.

While Audarya’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf success last term came on firm ground, she previously won the Prix Jean Romanet on soft, so Fanshawe expects her to handle the conditions, whatever they are on Thursday, following an excellent second to Love in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes on her seasonal return last month.

Audarya was beaten just under a length by Love at Ascot
Audarya was beaten just under a length by Love at Ascot (David Davies/PA)

He said: “Audarya ran really well at Royal Ascot and she’s come out of the race in good form. Six weeks is a nice gap between races when you are taking things step by step, and we’ve had this race in mind for a while.

“She’s got better as she’s got older, and she’s doing everything right at home. It was fast ground at Keeneland and Royal Ascot, but she shouldn’t have any problem on easier going because it was very testing last year when she won the Romanet, and very soft when she ran so well in the Prix de l’Opera.”

William Jarvis will be trying to end a long wait for a Group One victory as he sends out Lady Bowthorpe, with his last top-level victory coming with Grand Lodge back in 1994.

Winner of the Dahlia Stakes at the start of the year, the five-year-old has since finished second in the Lockinge and at Royal Ascot, before enduring a luckless run when fourth in the Falmouth Stakes this month.

She too has shown an ability to handle contrasting conditions, winning on quick ground at Newmarket before her fine Newbury effort behind Palace Pier when there was some cut in the surface.

Lady Bowthorpe represents William Jarvis
Lady Bowthorpe represents William Jarvis (Edward Whitaker/PA)

Jarvis said: “She’s grown up as a five-year-old mare and she’s much more amenable now.

“As a three and four-year-old, we thought she was very much a soft-ground filly. But her run in both the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket and more recently in the Falmouth Stakes were on good to firm ground, and I think she’s pretty adaptable.

“She was very tired when she came out of the Lockinge Stakes, but we had a very good preparation between Ascot and Newmarket, and she’s really been pleasing me since the Falmouth.”

Kieren Shoemark again teams up with the Nathaniel mare as she tackles 10 furlongs for the first time.

He added: “Lady Bowthorpe has taken me to some big races this year, and she’s run some massive races in Group Ones since giving me that first Group Two in the Dahlia.

“I feel she deserves a Group One and I’m really excited about her stepping up to a mile and a quarter. She’s by Nathaniel, and they usually stay fairly well, but she’s not short of pace – which you have to have at Goodwood, because it’s a trappy track. I really think it will suit her.”

Reflecting on her troubled passage in the Falmouth, Shoemark said: “I was happy with my position for about 50 yards! We started off in two groups, and she was nice and relaxed in a lovely position – then all of a sudden the groups merged, and she had a wall of horses in front of her.

“At crucial times when I needed to get her quickening there was nothing doing in front of me, so I decided to switch outside. I lost a couple of lengths in doing so, but she flew home and was beaten only a length. It’s hard to say if she’d have beaten Snow Lantern, but she’d have been second in a couple more strides.”

Aidan O’Brien fields two of the six contenders, with impressive Prix de Diane winner Joan Of Arc and Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Empress Josephine going for gold again in a race which is part of the Qipco British Champions Series.

The latter finished a short head in front of her stablemate when winning the Curragh Classic, but has since disappointed in the Coronation Stakes at Ascot and will be moving up in trip.

Empress Josephine (right) got the better of Joan Of Arc at the Curragh
Empress Josephine (right) got the better of Joan Of Arc at the Curragh (Brian Lawless/PA)

O’Brien said: “We are lucky to have some great fillies and we try to keep them apart and give them their best chance by picking the races which will suit them best, but we have been aiming both of these fillies for this race.

“Joan Of Arc won the Prix de Diane and has been progressing lovely all season. Empress Josephine will be stepping up to a mile and a quarter.

“We went further with her in Gowran before she won the Guineas, and then went back in trip.

“Maybe it was the ground and because it was early in the season (reason why she was beaten at Gowran) – it’s possible that we might have got a false read from it.

“She’s a full-sister to Minding, who got a mile and a quarter and got a mile and a half.

“It’s possible she could leave that Gowran run behind her and get the trip, but she is a filly that’s got plenty of speed.”

Zeyaadah (left) was victorious in the Hoppings Stakes at Newcastle
Zeyaadah (left) was victorious in the Hoppings Stakes at Newcastle (Tim Goode/PA)

The line-up is completed by Zeyaadah and the Martyn Meade-trained Technique, who were separated by just a head in an all-weather Group Three at Newcastle last month.

Zeyaadah was well beaten in testing ground when fancied for the Cazoo Oaks, so the Goodwood conditions might not be totally ideal.

Her trainer Roger Varian said: “She’ll need to step up on the Newcastle form to win a Nassau – but while she only won a head, she was in command at the line there.

“Bar the Oaks, she’s done nothing wrong in her career. There was only one winner that day, and the rest were nowhere.

“I think she’s a 10-furlong filly, and I also think she’s a better-ground filly now she’s going up against better horses although she’s got soft ground form. She’s in good form, and I think she’s ready for this test.”

Alison Swinburn ready to savour ‘superstar’ Audarya’s Nassau exploits

Owner Alison Swinburn will savour the occasion as her star mare Audarya bids for a third Group One success in the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

The James Fanshawe-trained five-year-old enjoyed a meteoric rise in 2020, graduating from a Newcastle handicap win off a mark of 99 to strike at the top level in both the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville and the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf in the autumn.

Swinburn said: “She really has been a superstar – almost beyond your wildest dreams. Of course when you go to the sales and you buy a horse, you’re always hoping that they’ll be good. I was hoping I’d buy a filly that would be good enough to race and enjoy and then breed from. I don’t think I ever imagined she’d be as good as she is.

“To come from winning at Newcastle to go and win the Group One Romanet, be placed in the Prix de l’Opera – then of course the icing on the cake last year was the Breeders’ Cup, which was just magical really.”

Audarya was only narrowly beaten at Ascot
Audarya was only narrowly beaten at Ascot (David Davies/PA)

Audarya has run just once since her Keeneland victory, taking on five-time Group One winner Love in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, where she was beaten three-quarters of a length in second after racing a touch keenly through the early exchanges.

Swinburn felt that was a fine effort from her daughter of Wootton Bassett, saying: “In an ideal world she would have had a run before, but things didn’t pan out like that.

“It was a big ask going straight to Ascot against Love, one of the best fillies in the world, but I was so thrilled with how she ran, because I felt it really endorsed her form.

“Her form has been abroad – and as much as that’s amazing, it’s so nice to see her run that well in the UK.

The ground at Goodwood is testing following overnight rain
The ground at Goodwood is testing following overnight rain (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“We couldn’t have been happier with it, and she’s come out of the race really well, so we now look forward to the next one.”

The ground at Goodwood was described as heavy, soft in places before the first day of the festival – and while Audarya’s ability to handle conditions does not concern Swinburn, the 9lb she must concede to four three-year-old rivals on Thursday would be more of a worry.

“She’s won in the soft, so I think it might be less of a concern to us than it might be to others,” she said.

“The only thing is she will have quite a weight (9st 7lb) to lug in softer ground.

Because of coronavirus restrictions, Swinburn was not able to enjoy Audarya’s international successes in person last year, so she is eager to make the trip to Goodwood with her father Peter Harris – a former trainer and owner, whose former colours Audarya sports.

She said: “I’m really looking forward to it – I’m coming with my dad and a couple of friends, so we’ll make the most and enjoy the day, but then everything she does this year is a bonus. It’s just nice to be able to go and watch her run and enjoy it.”

Swinburn is planning to retire her star performer at the end of the season – although Audarya’s targets for the rest of the year are far from determined at this stage.

She added: “I think probably at the beginning of the season that (France and Breeders’ Cup) would have been the plan, but I think we will take it quite race by race and see how she comes out of it.

“The Breeders’ Cup is right at the end of our season. It’s west coast this year, so we’ll just do whatever is best for the filly – because everything she does this year is a bonus, and then she will go to the paddocks. We will just judge it on how she is.

“She will go to the Swinburn family stud, Genesis Green, which is run by my brother-in-law Michael Swinburn. That will be lovely, because we will get to see lots of her and her offspring.”

Lady Bowthorpe is among the Goodwood opposition
Lady Bowthorpe is among the Goodwood opposition (Edward Whitaker/PA)

Audarya is one of six fillies declared for the 10-furlong Nassau Stakes, which is part of the Qipco British Champions Series.

Fellow five-year-old Lady Bowthorpe, representing William Jarvis, is one of her main rivals – along with Aidan O’Brien’s pair of Joan Of Arc and Empress Josephine, winners of the Prix de Diane and Irish 1,000 Guineas respectively.

The Roger Varian-trained Zeyaadah and Martyn Meade’s Technique, who were split by just a head when first and second in the Hoppings Stakes at Newcastle last time, complete the field.

Audarya tops six-strong Nassau field

Breeders’ Cup heroine Audarya heads a field of six runners for the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

James Fanshawe’s mare enjoyed a tremendous campaign in 2020, progressing from a narrow victory in a Newcastle handicap to claiming Group One honours in both the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville and the Filly And Mare Turf at Keeneland.

Audarya made an encouraging return to action when runner-up to Love in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot last month and is likely to be a hot favourite to get back on the winning trail in the feature event on day three of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Audarya is unlikely to have things all her own way on Thursday, however, with Aidan O’Brien having also declared a pair of Classic winners in Empress Josephine and Joan Of Arc.

Empress Josephine denied her stablemate by a short head in the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh, since when Joan Of Arc has gone one better in the Prix de Diane – the French Oaks.

William Jarvis runs his stable star Lady Bowthorpe, who bids to break her top-level duck on her first appearance over a mile and a quarter. Her fast-finishing fourth in the Falmouth at Newmarket three weeks ago suggested a step up in trip could bring about further improvement.

Lady Bowthorpe is a leading contender
Lady Bowthorpe is a leading contender (George Selwyn/PA)

The sextet is completed by Roger Varian’s Zeyaadah and the Martyn Meade-trained Technique.

The pair were split by just a head when first and second in a Group Three at Newcastle last month, with both fillies having previously been down the field in the Oaks at Epsom.

Audarya one of 10 in Nassau contention

James Fanshawe’s Breeders’ Cup winner Audarya is among 10 fillies and mares still in contention for the Group One Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

The five-year-old sprang to prominence last season, winning the Prix Jean Romanet before finishing third in the Prix de l’Opera.

She then went to Keeneland, where she secured a famous victory in the Filly And Mare Turf, and recently proved all that ability remains fully intact when pushing Love all the way on her return to action in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.

Love has also been confirmed for the Nassau, next Thursday, but appears highly unlikely to line up – given she is first set to contest the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Love’s trainer Aidan O’Brien is instead expected to saddle one or both of his Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Empress Josephine and French Oaks winner Joan Of Arc.

Richard Hannon’s Snow Lantern showed a blistering turn of foot to win the Falmouth and could step up in trip, as could Lady Bowthorpe, who suffered a troubled passage when a close fourth in that Newmarket Group One.

Cayenne Pepper (Jessica Harrington), Shale (Donnacha O’Brien), Technique (Martyn Meade) and Zeyaadah (Roger Varian) also feature.

Earlier in the afternoon Group Two honours are up for grabs for the 15 juveniles entered in the Unibet Richmond Stakes.

Lusail after winning the July Stakes at Newmarket
Lusail after winning the July Stakes at Newmarket (David Davies/Jockey Club)

The six-furlong contest could see Hannon’s Lusail and the Alan King-trained Asymmetric renew rivalry after being split by just a head when first and second in the July Stakes at Newmarket.

Hannon has also entered Super Sprint winner Gubbass, as well as Armor and Secret Strength, while Richard Fahey is represented by Norfolk Stakes victor Perfect Power.

Hadman (Joseph O’Brien) and Twilight Jet (Michael O’Callaghan) are the two Irish contenders.

Thirteen entries for the Group Three John Pearce Racing Gordon Stakes include the Andrew Balding-trained Youth Spirit and Varian’s Third Realm, who were last seen finishing down the field in the Derby, as well as Charlie Appleby’s Bahrain Trophy scorer Yibir.

Love and Audarya may head for rematch at Goodwood

Love and Audarya could be in line for a rematch of their epic Royal Ascot clash in the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood next month.

The pair feature among 29 fillies and mares for the July 29 showpiece, having been separated by just three-quarters of a length in their Prince of Wales’s Stakes tussle last week.

Aidan O’Brien’s dual Classic winner Love came out on top – but Breeders’ Cup heroine Audarya pushed her all the way, on what was the seasonal reappearance for both.

After the race, James Fanshawe mentioned the Prix Jean Romanet – which Audarya won last season – and the Nassau as potential options for his daughter of Wootton Bassett.

Updating on plans, the Newmarket trainer said: “Audarya has only been doing steady canters since Royal Ascot, but she seems very well.

“The Prince of Wales’s Stakes was her first run of the year, so you are never totally sure what to expect – and the same applied to Love obviously – but I was just really pleased with her performance and the way she has come out of the race.

“She has a couple of other entries beforehand, but the Qatar Nassau Stakes is a really nice race to aim for. Thanks to the support of Qatar, the prize-money is fantastic, and it usually throws up a good clash between the three-year-olds and the older fillies and mares.”

Snowfall was magnificent in the Oaks
Snowfall was magnificent in the Oaks (John Walton/PA)

O’Brien has a formidable eight-strong team in total, with Love joined by Classic winners Snowfall, Mother Earth, Joan Of Arc and Empress Josephine.

Snow Lantern is a notable entry for Richard Hannon after her fine runner-up effort in the Coronation Stakes.

Also in the potential line-up is the William Jarvis-trained Lady Bowthorpe, who was second in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes after being beaten by only Palace Pier in the Lockinge.