Lady Bowthorpe edges Dahlia tussle
The William Jarvis-trained five-year-old edged out Queen Power and Lavender’s Blue to claim the Group Two prize.
Freyja set a steady pace in the early stages – with Lady Bowthorpe, who got warm in the preliminaries, towards the rear under a patient ride from Kieran Shoemark.
He brought the daughter of Nathaniel to challenge on the far side of the course, and the 6-1 shot got the verdict by a head from 2-1 favourite Queen Power in a exciting conclusion to the nine-furlong contest.
Lavender’s Blue, who held every chance, was just behind in third.
Jarvis said: “She was fantastic when she won her Group Three at Ascot last summer, and maybe things didn’t go quite right when she ran at Sandown next time with a penalty.
“She then ran in the Sun Chariot, which was maybe a step too far for her on very heavy ground.
“Literally in the last week she has really come to hand, and I was desperate to run her today. We were concerned about the ground, and I walked the course a couple of times. I felt it was safe racing ground and let her take her chance.
“She’s a very special filly, and I think she will hopefully continue to improve as the year goes on.
She does take a bit of managing, but these tricky women sometimes give you the most pleasure!
“She does take a bit of managing, but these tricky women sometimes give you the most pleasure!”
On future plans, he added: “She’s in the Duke of Cambridge at Royal Ascot. I didn’t put her in the Queen Anne, because if we can keep her to her own sex it’s to her favour.
“We’ll have a talk about the Lockinge. I think we’ll probably give it a swerve – but if Palace Pier was to miss out, we might let her take her chance.
“It’s a big thrill to win today. We don’t have a lot of horses in our stable – so when you’ve got a good one, you’ve got to make the most of them.
“Any winner is great, but I was born and bred in Newmarket and have lived here all my life, so it’s great.”
Shoemark, riding his first two Group Two winner, said: “She’s a very talented filly, and I’m sure she’ll come on for today.
“She’s got away with the ground today, but will be a better filly on easier ground.
“She was a little bit delicate mentally as a three-year-old, but she’s maturing with each run – I believe there’s a Group One in her.
“This is my first Group Two winner, and I couldn’t have ridden it for a nicer guy than William Jarvis, who is so passionate about his racing. It’s just as good for him as it is for me to have a winner on a big stage.”