Lockinge next on the agenda after William Jarvis' Lady Bowthorpe lands Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket
While much of the weekend’s focus at the Rowley Mile centred around the winners of the two Classics, there was a particularly memorable Guineas Festival victory for one local trainer.
William Jarvis, who trains out of Phantom House Stables on Newmarket’s Fordham Road, saw Lady Bowthorpe come out on top in a close battle with Sir Michael Stoute’s Queen Power in the Group 2 Betfair Dahlia Stakes on Sunday.
It was the experienced handler’s biggest victory since Grand Lodge produced the goods to land the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot some 27 years ago.
“It was a magical afternoon,” said Jarvis. “I’m very proud of Lady Bowthorpe, she’s a talented filly.
“We had a slight concern as to how she’d handle the quick ground, but she coped well and was given a very good ride by Kieran (Shoemark).
“It’s great for one of the smaller yards in Newmarket to have the winner in one of the bigger races on Guineas weekend. It’s high up there in my career. There’s a saying that you’re only as good as your last winner, so I’ll take that!
“I’m very proud of the boys and girls at home that have done such a good job with her.
“I don’t find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning anyway, but when you’ve got a filly like Lady Bowthorpe in the yard, it does make the job better.”
Attention now turns to what comes next for the five-year-old, who is owned by Emma Banks, a music agent that has worked with some of the industry’s biggest names.
The Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury a week on Saturday appears to be the first port of call – a race that is set to feature the imperious Palace Pier, trained by John and Thady Gosden.
However, while there may be some that opt against taking on the two-time winner at the top level, Jarvis is relishing the prospect.
“I’m not adverse to running her in the Lockinge at all,” he added. “Palace Pier is probably the best miler in Europe, so the feeling is that everyone is racing for Group 1 placings.
“That could mean there is a small field, but that would suit us. As the great Sir Henry Cecil and my father used to say, you should never run away from one horse.
“Lady Bowthorpe has already run in one Group 1 last year in the Sun Chariot. She didn’t disgrace herself, but the conditions were foul.
“We’re confident she can be versatile between eight and 10 furlongs – I’m sure she’ll give a good account of herself.”
As well as spending his weekend taking in the action at HQ, Jarvis also dropped in on Newmarket Cricket Club’s first league fixture in four years.
A big cricketing fan, Jarvis is hoping to arrange a fixture between the racing fraternity and the reformed club this summer.
He said: “I was chuffed to see the cricketers playing and the club back in the town.
“In my role as chairman of the Newmarket Trainers Federation I’ve been in touch with the club to sort out a game. I’ve asked George Scott (trainer) to get a team together to play a game, hopefully in July.
“It would be great to get a game on and raise some money for the club, as well as a couple of local charities.”