HMS President looks very much an Ebor horse
Sadly, yet again the rain never came for Trueshan to finally take his chance at Royal Ascot, but Alan could still look back on his favourite race meeting of the year with plenty of pride and satisfaction.
Only a neck prevented last week from being the perfect Ascot for Barbury, that being the distance which HMS President got beaten by Irish raider Okita Soushi in the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap, while Tritonic ran an absolute blinder to finish third in the Ascot Stakes.
Alan has only had HMS President for his last three races, but two of them he won, and the six-year-old, who also did enormously well for the Henry Ponsonby syndicate when with Eve Johnson Houghton, has been a credit to both stables.
“It was a huge run,” reflected Alan, adding “bar winning, I could not have been happier, and from the furlong-pole it was nip and tuck all the way to the line.”
Rossa Ryan, who gave HMS President a superb ride, said:”He has run his heart out against many horses who were younger than him, and Alan and his team have done a terrific job.
“HMS President already has a £50,000 handicap in the bag, and this was a career-best performance. He has finished runner-up six times in the last 12 months, but Alan has got inside his head and transformed him.
“He is a horse with so much ability, and he is equally effective over 12 or 14 furlongs. He has it all and has given so much fun for a great bunch of owners.”
The fact that HMS President is proven over a mile and six furlongs surely brings the Ebor Handicap at York in August into the equation, and the Ponsonby team will doubtless be reminding Alan that they won that prestigious York handicap with Tiger Cliff in 2013.
Tritonic could have a more immediate target, because, having proved his stamina on his first try at two and a half miles on the Flat, this versatile performer looks tailor-made for a tilt at the Goodwood Stakes. Those rolling Sussex Downs have found out the flaws of many a good horse, but Tritonic has won there before so could well be a player in their marathon handicap.