Longchamp sees the ‘real’ Trueshan shine again
No fewer than 12 of Trueshan‘s 15 victories have been gained on different tracks, but the battle-hardened seven-year-old looks to have a soft spot for Longchamp, and, following his second triumph in the Grade 1 Prix du Cadran on Saturday, he was reported by Alan to be fine as he started the return journey back to Barbury.
It was another miserable summer for Trueshan, who was again thwarted by fast ground this year, but September has seen the hugely popular stalwart shine, and, while the ground in France was not nearly as soft as it was when he recaptured much of his old sparkle in the Doncaster Cup, he was able to handle it and produced an awesome performance.
Hollie Doyle talked through the race with Alan before she crossed the channel and they came to the conclusion that with such a small field there might not be any pace in the race. So with nobody anxious to take up the cudgels when the stalls opened, Hollie showed admirable enterprise in dictating things from the front.
Irish-trained Emily Dickinson had looked Trueshan’s main danger beforehand, but the Coolmore filly was never striding out with any real freedom on the drying ground, whereas, maybe as he has got older, a mudbath has become less an essential requirement to Trueshan, who, happy bowling along in the lead, was able to quicken away from his five rivals in the straight to win by four lengths.
Alan, who has been on Cloud Nine these past 24 hours, said:”Trueshan was more settled than he was at Doncaster, firstly because that run just knocked the freshness out of him after his summer break but also as he was less free racing in front.
“We were struggling with him in April and May, but the little wind operation we gave him has clearly helped and he looked right back to his best at Longchamp.”
Asked whether the plan remained a tilt at a fourth consecutive Long Distance Cup success at Ascot on Champions Day (October 21), Alan added:”That is definitely Plan A and it’s a bonus having a fresh horse going into the autumn, but the Prix Royal-Oak back at Longchamp is just a week later, so I’ll give him an entry for France just in case he needs that bit extra time.”
Hollie, who has been aboard Trueshan for 10 of his wins, admits that he is “a special horse”. She said:”Everyone at Barbury deserves a lot of credit as things did not look promising earlier this year, but Alan is a super trainer and he and his team have worked the oracle.
“I was a little worried that the ground might have dried up too much when I walked the course beforehand, but he got into a beautiful rhythm. I know he won at Doncaster, but I got a much bigger buzz out of France, as he felt like the real Trueshan again.
“It was also special that my parents were at Longchamp, and it was the first time that my dad has seen me ride a G1 winner, so all in all it was a fantastic day.”