'She came off the gallops in a horse ambulance' - Lady Bowthorpe's lucky escape
William Jarvis has revealed that the exciting build-up to next week's Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes at the Goodwood festival could have been a million miles away had the fates played their hand differently when his stable star Lady Bowthorpe was just a two-year-old.
Jarvis, chasing a first top-flight success in 27 years having been thrust back into the big time by his brilliant mare, was speaking to the Racing Post for a major interview in Sunday's newspaper in which he looked back on his remarkable journey in racing.
But the horse behind his renaissance could easily have been lost in 2018 after suffering an accident after work on the Newmarket gallops.
"She worked well but pulled up on three legs and her next journey was straight from the gallops to the Newmarket Equine Hospital in a horse ambulance," recalled Jarvis.
"We were lucky we didn't need to walk her down the road because she'd have gone a lot worse, but now, although she's got five screws in a cannon bone, you wouldn't know it and she's been able to realise all her potential. That was at a very early stage of her career, but we always thought she was very nice and it was a worrying time.
"For a yard like ours without a long list of superstars to call on, an injury like that really hurts – and it was a longer winter than it might have been – but Matt Smith did a wonderful job of operating on her.
"She always looked as though she'd come back and we've had no repercussions since. In fact, she's very sound, stronger and more versatile than ever."
The Nassau, rather than the Sussex Stakes, was confirmed as Lady Bowthorpe's Goodwood target this week and Jarvis added: "I'm really looking forward to stepping her up to ten furlongs at Goodwood because I think that will be her trip.
"It's a competitive race, of course, but we don't go there scared of anything and after a slightly unlucky run at Newmarket last time, I think she deserves to win a Group 1."
Read more from William Jarvis in the Big Read, available online for Members' Club Ultimate subscribers from 6pm on Saturday or in Sunday's Racing Post newspaper. Join Members' Club here.
The Front Runner is our latest email newsletter available exclusively to Members' Club Ultimate subscribers. Chris Cook, a three-time Racing Reporter of the Year award winner, provides his take on the day's biggest stories and tips for the upcoming racing every morning from Monday to Friday