Kieran Shoemark is relishing the opportunity to partner Oaks heroine Soul Sister in the Grand Prix de Paris at ParisLongchamp on Friday evening.
The 27-year-old, who won his first Group One aboard Lady Bowthorpe in 2021, is enjoying a fine season riding 33 winners so far, including a Group Three aboard Vadream earlier in the campaign.
With Soul Sister’s usual partner Frankie Dettori suspended and many other big-name riders required at Newmarket’s July Festival, he has the chance to continue his good run in the saddle having received the call up from John and Thady Gosden for the plum ride aboard their Epsom scorer.
It is a great opportunity for the jockey to showcase his talent on the biggest stage and at a venue where he has enjoyed some of his best days in the saddle.
He followed up his win aboard Dreamloper in the Prix d’Ispahan in the French capital with a double at the track last September when Dreamloper claimed the Prix du Moulin and West Wind Blows won the Prix du Prince d’Orange.
“I’m very much looking forward to it,” said Shoemark. “I like Longchamp and the filly has been very impressive to date and I’m very fortunate I have been given this opportunity and I can’t wait to take it.
“I couldn’t quite believe it myself, but timings have kind of worked out with good racing being on at Newmarket and Frankie Dettori being suspended and it was just being in the right place at the right time.
“I’ve had quite a lot of luck at Longchamp, so hopefully that continues.”
Eight head to post for the 12-furlong Group One and although Soul Sister may be the sole British interest, Aidan O’Brien fields Irish Derby second and fourth, Adelaide River and Peking Opera, as he tries to add to his impressive record in the race.
Shoemark is extremely respectful of the Ballydoyle challenge and has the Curragh runner-up Adelaide River as one of Soul Sister’s chief dangers, as well as Pascal Bary’s Feed The Flame, who was visually impressive in his first two starts before claiming fourth place in the Prix du Jockey Club.
“I thought Adelaide River ran a huge race in the Irish Derby and the French horse Feed The Flame was a gallant fourth in the French Derby,” added Shoemark.
“It’s a competitive field and we’re getting 3lb off the colts. This is a tough task and it is the first time a filly has ran in the race for 10 years, so it is something that doesn’t happen very often. But John and Thady Gosden have her in good order and hopefully we go there with a good chance.”
Andre Fabre is the race’s leading trainer and will bid to add to his tally with Prix Hocquart winner First Minister, while others representing the home team include Prix du Lys first and second, Rubis Vendome and Silawi, and Winter Pudding who is the mount of recent Prix Jean Prat-winner Stephane Pasquier.