Trueshan is back with a bang in Doncaster Cup
The jury has been out all summer, arguing whether Trueshan‘s glory days were behind him, but our stable-star put the Doubting Thomases back in their box in some style on Town Moor when recapturing all his old sparkle to win the G2 Doncaster Cup.
Everything went wrong for Trueshan with one exception – the result! In a slow-run race, with Ryan Moore controlling things in front at no more than a sedate tempo, Hollie Doyle fought tooth and nail to restrain the hard-pulling Trueshan, who was racing for the first time after his four month break.
Approaching the home straight, Hollie felt enough was enough and gave Trueshan his head, allowing him to sweep to the front. Having disappointed in his first two races this season before yet again being denied a tilt at the coveted Ascot Gold Cup by fast ground, Trueshan underwent a wind operation, and it certainly looks as if it has been a major part in the gelding’s resurrection
Hollie set sail up the centre of the track, but, while Trueshan ploughed a lone furrow, the remainder of the field took the traditional route towards the far rail.
Trueshan gradually inched over to join the pack, and, though Sweet William threatened to spoil our party celebrations, the powerhorse who is Trueshan arguably wanted it more than his rival and eventually shook him off to win by a length and a quarter.
Thoughts of Trueshan now going jumping are firmly on the back-burner again, and the Prix du Cadran at Longchamp on September 30 and the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day, a race he has won for the last three years, are both possibilities, though doubtless Alan, who was watching from home, will want to see how Trueshan is when he resumes fast work before deciding whether it is Paris or Ascot next.
Hollie said:”That was definitely not Plan A. It is not the first time that Trueshan has given me a rodeo, but he can still win because he’s so superior. He’s right back to his best – to do that the way he has, he must be.
“We went a pedestrian pace, which proved a nightmare as it was causing him to break his stride. He is a big horse, so eventually I thought it best to let him bowl along, knowing only too well that it was going to be make or break.
“The clerk of the course told me that the better ground was up the middle, so coming up there solo worked out ok. The wind op has definitely helped, which was a relief as I dread to think what Alan was thinking as he cursed away watching from home. Alan and his team have done such a brilliant job with Trueshan.
“We needed to find out whether the horse was back or not, and it made sense to come here as we had the ground, I have always loved him to bits – I rode him in his second ever race, so we’ve been together a long time now. Thankfully, I haven’t been jocked off yet.”
Robin Smith, Alan’s assistant and son of former jockey Craig Smith of Scot Lane fame, rides out Trueshan every morning at Barbury, and in Alans absence he was at Doncaster supervising things.
He said:”That was very special. Trueshan never makes life easy for Hollie, but I knew two and a half furlongs out that he would win. He can be a real challenge some days on the gallops, but, like Hollie, I think the world of him.
Trueshan apart, the likes of Westerton, who went down narrowly with all guns blazing at Doncaster on Wednesday, Insanity and Lionella are all doing us proud from the three-year-old division, and they have all produced some bold efforts on the track this summer.
Lionella is the stable’s only Saturday runner this week, and Richard Milner’s home-bred filly has David Egan aboard when she tackles the 14-furlong handicap at Chester.
Having won two Class 5 handicaps already this season, Lionella now moves back up a Grade. She ran against that sort of company at Sandown in July and started favourite, only to finish down the field, but she won off the same handicap mark next time on one of Lingfield’s turf meetings, having too much finishing speed for the opposition when the pace increased in the straight.
Lionella is now only 4lb higher than at Lingfield, and her turn of foot ought to stand her in good stead around the sharp turns of the Roodee, so, while it looks a competitive race, hopefully she’ll be in the mix yet again.
As for Westerton and Insanity, both are entered for the valuable Old Rowley Cup at Newmarket on October 13, the Heritage Handicap being an early closing race.