Emotions were high in the Goodwood winner’s enclosure after the Nassau Stakes as connections greeted the winner Lady Bowthorpe back after a thrilling victory in the feature race of day three.
For owner Emma Banks, who acts as agent to such stars as Katy Perry, Muse, Kylie Minogue and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the spotlight is nothing new but Lady Bowthorpe has a special place in her heart.
Trainer William Jarvis is a trainer who has waited a long time for a Group one winner, Grand Lodge’s St James’s Palace Stakes win at Royal Ascot in 1994 was the last time he’d dined at the top table. A popular trainer in Newmarket, Jarvis was greeted by several leading trainers including Luca Cumani and Henry Candy as he made his way down to the winner’s enclosure to greet his winner. As he stepped out into the paddock to lead her in and during post-race interviews Jarvis struggled to contain his emotions as tears welled in his eyes.
For jockey Keiran Shoemark this was a milestone at the end of a long road. Banned for six months after testing positive for cocaine in November 2018, Shoemark faced a drink and drugs addiction problem that threatened to ruin not only his career but his life. Extensive rehabilitation and some loyal supporters allied with a recognised talent for race-riding meant that Shoemark gradually nursed his way back into the game and he was the third member of the winning team for whom this landmark success meant so much. His fellow jockeys made the rare move of heading out of the weighing room to welcome him back in, an indication of the support he has enjoyed during his recovery and the respect he has gained in winning his personal battles.
In the race itself Shoemark enjoyed a relatively trouble-free run. Making the pace was favourite Joan Of Arc under Ryan Moore while Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Empress Josephine was prominent just behind. Shoemark held up Lady Bowthorpe in fifth place of the six runners, Breeders Cup heroine Audarya held up in last.
Little changed until they reached the straight where Shoemark nudged his mount a little closer. Joan Of Arc kept up the pressure from the front as they hit the two furlong pole but Lady Bowthorpe and Zeyaadah were pressing and it was Lady Bowthorpe who stayed on strongest of all in the final furlong, winning going away by one and three quarter lengths from Zeyaadah who stayed on into second.
“We knew she was always special…we only have a staff of seven or eight and they all work so hard for Lady Bowthorpe and it’s all due to them” said Jarvis after the race, his voice breaking with emotion. “I was confident she’d stay…I knew she had that great turn of foot and that’s her real strength” he added.
Jockey Shoemark was also confident in his filly’s ability to last home, “I knew when I hit the front she’s so genuine she wasn’t going to stop.”
Reflecting on his time out of the game “this is my second full season back. I had six months off and went into rehab and took it all seriously and it’s paid off.”
Redemption for the jockey, relief for the trainer and rapture for the owner, it was certainly a day to remember for the Lady Bowthorpe team at Goodwood.