"Fans' Favorites" is a weekly feature in Racing Post Weekender where we talk to those closest to the most popular racehorses and find out why they move us. This week's topic: Lady Bowthorpe
Lady Bowthorpe, the spectacular mare who brought down the house at Glorious Goodwood, will perform in a different setting on Sunday as she moves as part of the Newmarket Open Weekend.
The Nassau Stakes winner is sure to draw huge crowds for her performances at William Jarvis' historic Phantom House Stables, as the trainer well knows.
“The courtyard will be open on Sunday mornings and weather permitting, it will be parading the courtyard at 10:45 and 11:45,” says Jarvis. “He's got a huge following and he's awesome. Even on Newmarket Heath people know who he is.
"It's nice to take care of her and now when I meet people they often ask, 'How is the mare?' I know you will come to Lady Bowthorpe on Sunday, not me."
Jarvis may downplay his role, but he is a major reason for Lady Bowthorpe's popularity, not only for his handling of the Group 1 winning mare, but also for his emotional reaction to her defeat in the Falmouth Stakes at the Newmarket Festival in July and then the deserved breakthrough into the premier class in Nassau.
It was a great underdog story for a 28-horse stable that is among Newmarket's biggest operations but seldom gets a chance to compete with them for top prizes, let alone beat them.
Jarvis left no doubt as to what winning at Nassau meant for him and his collaborators, owner Emma Banks and jockey Kieran Shoemark, and he still reminisces.
“It was a very special day,” he says, “and after Falmouth there was a sense of relief and incredible joy.
“My son Jack was there, as was my grandson Zander, my partner Linda and also two of my godchildren, Harry Eustace and George Smyly. Zander is less than a year old so he won't remember the day but I sure will.”
Kieran Shoemark waves to the crowd as he crosses the line from Lady Bowthorpe in the Nassau StakesPhoto credit: Mark Cranham
Jarvis had previously enjoyed victory in Group 1 with Grand Lodge, winner of the St James's Palace Stakes in 1994, and it had been a long 27 years before he had awaited another top-level success.
'We are a small stable in Newmarket. I don't know if we've beaten our weight, but we're doing well," he adds. “We had a nice party afterwards. I was very proud of the entire Phantom House team and happy for Emma who has been a very loyal supporter of the stable over the past few years.
"It was a good story, especially with Kieran driving his first Group 1 winner and I was happy for him too."
Emotions had been very different after Falmouth three weeks earlier when Lady Bowthorpe and Shoemark endured a difficult passage in the Group 1 mile and had to settle for fourth place behind Snow Lantern, Mother Earth and Alcohol Free, beaten only by one body .
Opportunity knocked, but then the door slammed shut, drawing tears of frustration from Jarvis.
"I think crying after Falmouth was a little over the top," he says. "My fellow trainers called me 'Cry Baby' on the moors for a few days but I can take it. I still think he was probably the best horse at Falmouth, although I have a great deal of respect for the three mares that brought us have beaten, they're all very good guys. three years."
Jarvis had long felt that moving to a mile and a quarter would do Lady Bowthorpe good, and she agreed with him on the Nassau. The coach kept himself well under control that day.
He recalls, "If you were to ask Linda, he'd probably say he's a little scared but feels like he's in control. I was sure he would stay on the ride. I never watch a race with my owners, I just wander around and "have a cigarette." . or two.
"I don't watch the whole race, just listen to the commentary and look at the big screen every now and then, then look down and race again."
Those occasional glances told Jarvis things were going well, with Shoemark staying out of potential trouble on the outside and Lady Bowthorpe decisively winning by a length and a half.
Happy Times: Shoemark and Jarvis hold up the Nassau TrophyPhoto credit: Mark Cranham
This remarkable story had taken its most exciting turn, and yet it was almost over after chapter one. Lady Bowthorpe finished fourth in her Yarmouth debut as a junior in September 2018 but then disaster struck.
"He galloped her back, but then he broke his cannon bone while galloping," Jarvis recalls. "It could easily have been an injury that ended his career but thanks to the skill and experience of Newmarket Equine Hospital and its surgeons he was able to return to training. He has five screws in his gun leg."
Her first appearance as a three-year-old was pushed back to August 2019, but she won a novice at Lingfield later that month, adding a handicap at the same track in her 2020 return.
Runner up that day was Baby Steps, just what Lady Bowthorpe had been doing until Jarvis jumped for the Valiant Fillies' Group 3 Stakes at Ascot last July.
"We dragged her down a bit and I have to say she was very impressive that day. She showed a strong turn on her feet,” he says. “This year he did very well physically over the winter, although he needed a bit of time to recover.
"I knew he did very well in his first race in the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket on Day 1000 in Guinea. Although not very impressive, he won very well."
Lady Bowthorpe (left) scored big in Group 2 in the Dahlia StakesCredit: Edward Whitaker
With this Group 2 in the bag, it was time to test them in the toughest of company.
"We threw her back in the Lockinge," says Jarvis. "She was a stranger there but she was the only one who gave Palace Pier a run, although I wouldn't say for a minute she scared him. I thought she could ride in Group 1 company and she has confirmed that she can."
The trainer pays tribute to Claire Harkness, who has looked after Lady Bowthorpe since day one.
“This mare requires a bit of handling, she has to be the last one to come into the stable blindfolded and at the home stable she sometimes makes life difficult for Claire. But they have a wonderful bond, she even removes the poles to La boca de Claire,” he says affectionately.
"Claire is very good with her and they have a great affinity. She is a wonderful person, she is devoted to Lady Bowthorpe, talks to her all the time, keeps her relaxed at the races and has had a huge impact on our success. with Lady Bowthorpe".
Jarvis is hoping for more to come, despite the disappointment of last month's trip to Deauville when Lady Bowthorpe finished just seventh in the Prix Jean Romanet.
"Things didn't go as planned in France and she just underperformed," he says. "He spent five or six days at Emma's cousin's stud farm in Cambridgeshire just to relax and came back fine.
"I know this is a step back from a mile, but it looked pretty good in Falmouth and when he ran Palace Pier a length and a half in Lockinge, so I think it's versatile in terms of travel."
One of the most touching stories of the flat season isn't over yet.
Backstage tour leads to celebrity signing
Goodwood was a fitting setting for Lady Bowthorpe's Group 1 triumph as it was here that her trainer and owner first met seven years ago.
Emma Banks, the famous celebrity agent, was there as a guest of the Earl of March and Jarvis was saddling a runner for his uncle and aunt, Michael and Rosalind Banks.
“She came out of the box and I first met her with Michael and Rosalind,” recalls the trainer. "She enjoyed the experience, likened it to going backstage and shortly after that we bought a cheap horse, Lackaday, which she won over. That was her first horse.”
Lady Bowthorpe was more expensive and was bought as Cousin in 2017 for GN82,000, although it should be remembered that she was up against Bluebloods by Coolmore and Shadwell at Nassau, who would have sold much more on the open market.
However, there are some impressive connections behind Lady Bowthorpe. She was bred by Paolo and Emma Agostini of Scuderia Archi Romani who keep her dam Maglietta Fina at Fittocks Stud with Luca and Sara Cumani whilst the record at Tattersalls was signed by James Toller, another former Newmarket manager.
“James has a good eye and is very good at judging yearlings. We've visited this filly two or three times and we liked it,” says Jarvis. "Now that James is retired he comes into the yard most mornings and tells me what I'm doing wrong, sometimes I listen and sometimes I don't."
Lady Bowthorpe - was bred by Luca and Sara Cumani at Fittocks Stud FarmCredit: Edward Whitaker
The Cumanis are also very interested in Lady Bowthorpe and sat down with Banks at Goodwood. After the race, the owner said: “Luca looked at me for half a stadium and said: 'You've got it. If Luca Cumani tells you that, of course you have it.”
Banks, agent for Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others, now has another star in Lady Bowthorpe.
"Emma is a very enthusiastic owner, she's very hands-on, she loves her horses," says Jarvis. "It has to be said that Lady Bowthorpe has to be her favourite, but she is also very interested in her disabilities and getting started in breeding."
Lady Bowthorpe will be a treasured broodmare when she retires, but one of the key messages from National Racehorse Week is that it's not all about the stars.
“This is a very important week,” says Jarvis, “and when people come to Newmarket this weekend they will realize the quality care thoroughbred racehorses receive.
“Emma is absolutely adamant that any horse of hers that retires finds a good home. She is passionate about it and we all are; it is about all horses.”
Read more from our fan favorites series:
Bollin Eric: "He just had a natural ability, he could do anything"
Silent reflection: "She spilled something, but we didn't care because she destroyed it"
Celerity: "I heard the crowd and just couldn't look, so I turned around"
Alpha Delphini: “I asked them to give me £50 each way this morning
Euchen Glen: Adrenaline junkie whose trainer considers himself a Group 1 class
Canford Cliffs: "He was one of the best racehorses of the last 50 years"
Taghrooda: "He turned to the stands and everyone freaked out"
Kingman: "There are some in the camp who think he beat Frankel"
Brando: "Kevin always said he was going to be a real beast"
Tropes: "I saw something that day I hadn't seen many times, it worked like a train"
Sole Power: "He wasn't a normal horse, he was more of a blockbuster"
Random Agent: The misfit who faced and defeated the racing elite at Royal Ascot
Duke Of Firenze: A white knuckle ride with a lot of touch
Lord Glitters: The "phenomenal" horse that likes to get into trouble
Kingsgate native: 'We jumped in the pool and ordered champagne'
Laurens: the brave northern girl who became the winner of the Classic
Cockney Rebel: The two-time Guineas winner who turned out to be life-changing
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