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‘The biggest and the busiest for me yet’ – Kieran Shoemark looking forward to high-profile Royal Ascot rides

3 minute read

Frankie Dettori’s replacement set for a big five days.

Jockey: KIERAN SHOEMARK.
Jockey: KIERAN SHOEMARK. Picture: Pat Healy Photography

John and Thady Gosden's new stable jockey Kieran Shoemark is looking forward to what he describes as 'the biggest and the busiest Royal Ascot for him to date'.

Shoemark, 27, will be hoping to kick off the week in perfect style when partnering Paddy Power's current 9/4 Queen Anne favourite Inspiral in the opening Group 1 contest next Tuesday. The multiple top-level scorer rounded off her season last year with a brilliant last-gasp success in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf but she could only manage to finish fourth behind her stablemate and shock winner Audience in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on her reappearance.

However, Shoemark is expecting a much-improved performance from the Chevley Park-owned mare as she bids to go one spot better in this prize than she did twelve months ago.

"The biggest and the busiest (Royal Ascot) for me yet, that is fair to say. Over the five days, I will be looking at between 15 and 20 rides, and some high-profile ones among them," explained Shoemark when talking to Boylesports.

He added: "Inspiral in the Queen Anne is one. She had a fantastic year last year, capping it off at the Breeders' Cup. She returned in the Lockinge and needed the run, maybe more so than we anticipated. She has been in great order since.

"Theory Of Tides – I think he'll run in the King Edward. Emily Upjohn has a couple of entries in the Prince of Wales's and in the Hardwicke.Eben Shaddad had some nice juvenile form and ran well in the French Guineas I thought, and he will run in the Jersey Stakes. Jack Darcy could run in the Wolferton.

"I will take it day by day – I don't have a target in mind. At the moment all I am thinking about is winning the Queen Anne as that would be a great way to kick off. I have only ever had one winner at Royal Ascot so I can't be going there thinking about targets."

Plenty expect Shoemark to be feeling the pressure as he replaces Frankie Dettori as stable jockey to the 2021 Royal Ascot leading trainers, but Shoemark is adamant he does not feel overwhelmed by the task in hand and will seek further advice from the Italian maestro heading into the royal meeting.

"Frankie was on his farewell tour (last year), and I was asked to come in and ride out and it propelled from there. I started riding a few and Frankie decided in his last year he didn't want to ride any two-year-olds, so I did some maidens and novice races in his place, and it went from there," said Shoemark.

"It wasn't daunting really because it was a gradual transition. Frankie was very much still around – I was just going in and riding when I was needed. I was still riding for Charlie Hills, but there was no real pressure.

"I am there to do a job for John and Thady. I don't look at it as if I am replacing Frankie Dettori because I can't. I know he was associated with Clarehaven for many years and if I did look at it like that, then it could have been very daunting.

"It is one of the biggest jobs in racing. John and Thady were champion trainers last year. It is a huge opportunity and one I am going to grab with both hands.

"I look forward to what is to come. It is fair to say it has been a little bit of a steady start, but we are still early into the season and hopefully, we have some nice horses to appear very soon."


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