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Friendly Soul remains unbeaten in Pretty Polly

Friendly Soul remains unbeaten in Pretty Polly
Friendly Soul remains unbeaten in Pretty Polly

Kieran Shoemark helped cement his position with the Gosdens as he steered Friendly Soul to a stylish victory in the William Hill Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket.

John and Thady Gosden’s daughter of Kingman is a half-sister to a plethora of high-ranking winners and created a decent impression on debut at Kempton in December.

She confirmed the promise of that Sunbury effort on the Rowley Mile on Sunday where she was both tough and professional when sent forward from the start in the hands of Shoemark.

Having made most of the running, Friendly Soul (10-1) had enough in reserve to beat off the sustained challenge of 4-6 favourite Kaldana, with the duo pulling well clear of the rest of the field in the closing stages.

There was a length and a quarter between Friendly Soul and the heavily-backed Kaldana at the line, with a further 12 back to the third Kitteridge in a performance that sparks hopes of an exciting future.

Friendly Soul would have to be supplemented into the Betfred Oaks at Epsom, but joint-trainer John Gosden is instead eyeing a tilt at the French equivalent at Chantilly.

“I think it was a good race, I was impressed with the second when she won here at the Craven meeting so I think it was solid (form),” he said.

“I think she (Friendly Soul) is a lovely filly and I think she’s a mile and a quarter filly. She might be a filly for a visit to Chantilly (Prix de Diane).

“We’ve had a slow spring, it’s been very wet and cold so I haven’t been in a hurry with the horses. We hope that May is really the time they’ll start to come to themselves.”

John Gosden was delighted with the performance of Friendly Soul
John Gosden was delighted with the performance of Friendly Soul (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Gosden also paid tribute to Shoemark, who he confirmed is now effectively first jockey at Clarehaven after Frankie Dettori’s decision to move to America.

The trainer added: “I was feeling for Frankie last night, he had a rather tough night at Churchill Downs. He’s a great pal Frankie, we had years together and he casts a long shadow.

“Kieran has waited quietly and we gave him some rides last year. He rode for me as a schoolkid, he used to come in the holidays to ride out, and has always been very natural.

“His uncle (Peter Shoemark) who is our racing office manager took him home and managed to break his collarbone on a pony messing around somewhere. I’ve known him for many years, he’s a very talented rider with superb hands and a good judge. He’s bright and intelligent and a good horseman.”

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