TAKING over from Frankie Dettori was never going to be an easy task, but while Kieran Shoemark has done a fine job for John and Thady Gosden away from the limelight, the stable’s lack of big-race success this year means that the upcoming Royal Ascot meeting will see the new stable jockey firmly under the spotlight, and the growing band of doubters will be sharpening their knives in anticipation.

Gosden senior is famously loyal to his jockeys but a backroom vote of confidence is nothing compared to the confidence engendered by riding winners at the big meetings and Shoemark is badly in need of a result to get the proverbial monkey off his back.