Lady Bowthorpe comes out on top among Cambridge’s contenders.
Lady Bowthorpe, the Lockinge runner-up, is back against her own sex in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.
The five-year-old returned to action with a win in the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket, and on her most recent appearance, she elevated her form to a new level.
She was more than five lengths ahead of the third, which was John and Thady Gosden’s Palace Pier, possibly Europe’s best miler.
“She had a tough race in the Lockinge,” said trainer William Jarvis.
“Behind come in second to Palace Pier was no disgrace at all, as we were five and a half lengths ahead of a competitive field. Her rating increased to 117 as a result of this, indicating that she is a very high-class mare.”
While Jarvis is content to stay at a mile for the time being, he plans to increase his journey later in the season.
“I still want to run 10 furlongs with her, so the Nassau Stakes is on my radar,” he said.
“If everything went well at Royal Ascot, she could easily move on to the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes in July and eventually to 10 furlongs.”
Johnny Murtagh’s Champers Elysees, a Group One champion last year but struggling so far this season, is set to be her main challenger.
At this time, Queen Power, Agincourt, Lavender’s Blue, and Charlie Fellowes’ Onassis, a past Royal Ascot winner, are all in the mix, as is Archie Watson’s Parent’s Prayer, an easy winner at Epsom last week.
The Mikel Delzangles-trained Sagamiyra, who had been well backed in the ante-post betting, was one notable omission.
There are 26 entries for the Queen Mary, including Wesley Ward’s Twilight Gleaming and Frankie Dettori’s fellow American Artos for George Arnold.
To date, George Boughey’s Beautiful Sunshine has made a significant impression, as has Clive Cox’s Get Ahead, who won at Ascot for the first time.
Aidan O’Brien holds eight of the twenty-four spots in the Queen’s Vase, including one-time. (This is a brief piece.)