What a day – and what a night – as Barbury celebrate first Flat Group 1
There were a few sore heads at Barbury this morning as normal service was resumed following the celebrations sparked by Trueshan‘s brilliant Goodwood Cup success, Alan’s first Group 1 on the Flat.
The pressure was on Trueshan after relentless rain – 60mm since Sunday – turned the ground to heavy on the rolling Sussex Downs, prompting John Gosden to withdraw hot-favourite Stradivarius, who was attempting to win the race for an unprecedented fifth time.
Having bagged 15 Grade 1 victories at the Cheltenham Festival, Alan has proved his versatility over the last few years, reaching Flat racing’s penthouse last season with three winners at Royal Ascot, plus Trueshan annihilating a class field at Ascot on Champions Day.
Revelling in the testing underfoot conditions, Trueshan, who was backed down to 6-5 favourite, provided Hollie Doyle with her second success at the top level.
Despite running free for the first part of the race, as the jockey observed “the further Trueshan went the better he travelled. He’s a superstar in the mud and when he met the rising ground he found another gear. I’ve been thinking of Trueshan every single day since we won at Ascot on Champions Day, and Alan and the team produced him spot on for the big day. I can’t thank them and the owners enough.”
David Hill, part of the Barbury Lions team who own Trueshan, reciprocated that thanks, declaring:”Hollie rides him with so much confidence, and when the other jockeys tried to slow the pace down, she was having none of it and bossed the race. I love my jumping, but after this Goodwood is my favourite racecourse in the world. I’ve always loved it here.”
From the two-furlong pole, Trueshan was calling the shots, and he sailed home by three and three-quarter lengths.
Before heading off searching for new recruits for his jumping team, Alan, celebrating with his favourite red wine, stressed with a smile, “I am not finished with the winter game yet. and, while we did consider sending Trueshan hurdling last autumn and actually schooled him a few times, after Ascot that plan was firmly quashed, and it most certainly is now.
“I think Goodwood was as nervous as I have ever been, accentuated by the defection of Stradivarius, but, happily, all ended well, and, as for future plans, he is in the Lonsdale Stakes at York, though his main target this year is the G1 Prix Cadran Longchamp’s Arc meeting. You often get soft ground in Paris in early October, which would suit us perfectly.”
Meanwhile, with the ground drying up we are all looking forward to Goodwood again on Thursday, when our smart youngster Asymmetric goes for the G2 Richmond Stakes.
Asymmetric was more impressive over the Goodwood course and distance on his debut than he was when following up at Newmarket, but he then proved he belongs in G2 company when arguably unlucky not to beat Lusail in the July Stakes back at HQ.
Alan has a very high opinion of Asymmetric, who with a mark of 107 is the highest-rated in the race, so here’s hoping we need to pop a few more champagne corks tomorrow,