The talented Lady Bowthorpe finally had her day in the sun as she was a devastating winner of the Group 1 Nassau Stakes on Thursday and in the process sealed victory at the highest level for trainer William Jarvis for the first time since 1994.
Having encountered traffic problems when last seen in the Falmouth Stakes, there was no such diversions this time around as the five-year-old flew past on the outside to defeat Zeyaadah and Joan Of Arc.
It was a performance that brought delight not only to Jarvis and Lady Bowthorpe’s owner, music agent Emma Banks, but the Goodwood crowd as cheers greeted the mare and jockey Kieran Shoemark as they arrived into the winner’s enclosure.
Banks said: “Kieran gave Lady Bowthorpe an amazing ride. He deserves this, it is his first Group 1 – it’s all of our first Group 1 apart from William who had one back when the dinosaurs were doing it.
“It’s fantastic. I was sitting next to Luca Cumani who half a furlong out looked at me and said ‘you’ve got this’. If Luca Cumani says that then you know you’ve got it.
“I’m so proud of Lady Bowthorpe. I’m proud of Kieran who had a lot of pressure and he has had some bad luck on her and today we won.
“I pay the bills, that’s all I do really. William is a fantastic trainer, he has lots of my horses. They are not all as good as this one unfortunately.”
Jarvis, whose previous Group 1 prior to Thursday came when Grand Lodge won the St James’s Palace Stakes, added: “We knew Lady Bowthorpe was smart when she won the Valiant Stakes at Ascot as a four-year-old. She was exceptional in the Dahlia Stakes and she’s a very, very smart filly.
“I think after she won the Dahlia Stakes that was when I, personally, thought that she should have the Nassau Stakes on her radar and we sort of worked back a little bit. Having said that, she’s 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 ten furlongs for a long time but events transpired against us until today. Anyway, I think she has proved that she’s even better over ten than she is at a mile.
“I’ve never lost faith in myself as a trainer. 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 am delighted for.
“There was a lot of pressure from outside people saying should we do this or that or leave Oisin Murphy sitting in the weighing room, but it never really crossed out minds.
“I am 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. He is a delight to work with.”
It was a first Group 1 for Shoemark, who was banned for six months after testing positive for cocaine in November 2018, and the success highlighted how he has got his career well back on track.
He added: “I’m pretty speechless to be honest. Lady Bowthorpe is such a special mare. I just feel lucky to be a part of her. It’s fantastic for the whole team, Emma Banks, William Jarvis.
“I know this horse so well and I can tell what form she is in just by cantering to the start. She took a hold of me cantering down and I knew she was in good form. She likes a bit of give in the ground, the question mark was the 10 furlongs. In all her previous races, her last furlong has been her best furlong so it didn’t concern me too much.
“Lady Bowthorpe bumped into an absolute champion in Palace Pier in the Lockinge. She was unlucky in the Falmouth where things didn’t go her way as we hit traffic problems that day. It’s all worthwhile now. I’m delighted that we’re going to be able to celebrate tonight and really enjoy this. It’s a massive team effort.
“She’s a special filly and has done nothing but improve with age. She is a credit to her owner Emma who is an incredible woman who fills me with absolute confidence. I’m just delighted.
“In the last day or so, I’ve been imagining crossing the line in front, 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.”
All hail King Alan
Two days after landing the Goodwood Cup with Trueshan, trainer Alan King secured a second winner of the week when Asymmetric produced an impressive turn of foot to land the Group 2 Richmond Stakes.
It looked as if when the field first kicked for home at the two furlong pole that Asymmetric was not able to go with them. Jockey Martin Harley could be seen rousing his mount and once up to full speed, found space to hit the front and run on.
By the line, the two-year-old had won by half a length from Khunan with a further nose back to Gubbass in third.
Harley said: “That was very exciting. Asymmetric travelled good and just when I asked him for a gear change, he went from second to fifth, which helped me out a lot!
“I wasn’t worried because I rode this horse in a novice race at Newmarket and they went very steady. Even on his work at home, you can produce him whenever you want. He has an incredible turn of foot and he showed that today.”
King added: “I think I burnt out most of the nerves on Tuesday with Trueshan. I hoped and thought Asymmetric would run very well today. I wasn’t thinking he had to win this whereas I thought Trueshan had to on Tuesday.
“Asymmetric has the most wonderful temperament. He’s almost horizontal he’s so laid back. He has a fairly good turn of foot when he does go too. We were always going to step back and take a lead on him. I was just hoping they wouldn’t get first run on him.
“He picked up very well. Martin was very happy with him and was going to have one crack at them. They went steady early which was something I wasn’t sure about.
“Asymmetric is not the biggest, but I think he is just sharper for the July Stakes. He does nothing at home, he eats and sleeps. You give him the odd nudge in the morning just to make sure all is good.
“I’ve no idea where he goes next. He’s in the Gimcrack, he’s entered in the Prix Morny in France. We’ll see what the team want to do.”
No catching Ottoman Emperor
Ottoman Emperor provided Johnny Murtaagh with a first Qatar Goodwood Festival winner as a trainer when the three-year-old held off a slew of challengers to land the Group 3 Gordon Stakes.
Murtagh said: “Ottoman Emperor did it the hard way. Ben [Coen, jockey] says he’s raced lazily all the way, but he’s like that, he’s a little bit babyish. You don’t know how good he is or how good he can be.
“He got to the top of the hill where he lost his balance a little bit and then he grabbed him and he came strong.
“Ben said he got to the front a bit too soon, but he wasn’t stopping when the others came to him. One thing about him is that he’s very genuine, very tough and he doesn’t stop trying.
“We came here to find out is he a mile-and-a-half horse? can he stay a mile and six? I think he answered a lot of questions today.
“We’d love to give him a shot at the St Leger next because it’s a very nice race and we’d love to have a live chance in it.”
Treble for Buick
William Buick moved to the top of the jockey standings at the Qatar Goodwood Festival thanks to a treble on Thursday’s card.
The ball got rolling when Buick guided Qaader to victory for trainer Mark Johnston and owner Shadwell Estates in the 1m2f handicap that opened the meeting.
That was followed by the Andrew Balding-trained Wilderness Girl taking the spoils in the 7f maiden fillies’ stakes before Whenthedealinsdone showed a late burst of speed to claim the 5f handicap that closed Thursday’s card.
Elsewhere at Goodwood, Simon and Ed Crisford were left celebrating after Aswan struck in the 7f nursery handicap.