Trueshan leads the Barbury charge for Northumberland Plate
Alan has a mixed bag for Saturday, with four horses heading for Newcastle to run on the tapeta surface, one seeking her hat-trick on turf at Newmarket and another in action on the polytrack at Lingfield.
However, there is no doubt that the star of the sextet is our champion stayer Trueshan, who attempts to defy the welter burden of 10st 8lb in the Northumberland Plate at Gosforth Park.
Trueshan, denied a crack at last week’s Ascot Gold Cup for the second year running when insufficient rain fell on the Royal Heath to ease the ground, has had another frustrating season, being repeatedly having to miss intended targets since making a winning reappearance in the soft (remember what that was?) at Nottingham in April.
Rated 120, 2ld higher than when finishing sixth in the Plate last year, Trueshan has won all his four races since, the Goodwood Cup, Prix du Cadran (both Group 1) at Longchamp and Long Distance Cup on Champions Day at Ascot preceding Nottingham. So with the turf courses still riding rattling fast, Alan is giving Trueshan his prep for Goodwood on the all-weather, and it is a real boost that he has been able to get Hollie Doyle to renew the association.
Alan said:”Trueshan ran a terrific race there 12 months ago, and I always maintain that running him at Newcastle won me a Goodwood Cup. Going straight to Sussex from Nottingham would be an absence of almost four months, which is an awful long time, besides which it could be quick ground there anyway.
“Ok, it is a big ask at Newcastle, but Trueshan carries more than 10st 8lb every morning on the gallops here, and it didn’t do Desert Orchid any harm humping those sort of weights, did it?”
Rainbow Dreamer, who plugged on bravely to finish fifth two years ago, has a third go at this prestigious prize, having been off since running creditably in the All-Weather Final over this course on Good Friday. He has since had a breathing operation, so it will be interesting to see how he shapes as he has good solid form on an artificial surface. Kevin Stott rides.
Our third runner in the Geordies favourite race is the versatile Who Dares Wins, who is looking for his 12th win in what will be his 60th race. He is 6lb lower than when winning this race in 2019, and, having also been a late absentee at Royal Ascot because of the ground, he’ll be going there fresh, having been off since he ran over hurdles at Haydock in April.
The in-form 3lb claimer Saffie Osborne takes the mount on Who Dares Wins, who, having also been a late withdrawal from Royal Ascot because of the ground, will be going to Newcastle fresh, having not races since running over hurdles at Haydock in April.
Catbird Seat is also in the horsebox off to Newcastle, his target being the consolation race for the Plate. It will be his first time at Gosforth Park, but his two wins on the all-weather were both at Wolverhampton, where the surface is also tapeta, so there are no worries there. He has had a good summer on the Flat, winning at Chepstow and running third at Kempton.
At Newmarket we run Haseefah in the fillies handicap, She was disappointing over hurdles after making a winning start at Market Rasen, but she found her form again on the level at Chester when popping up at 20-1 and then followed up at Goodwood.
And finally we have Rampoldi Plan trying the all-weather again at Lingfield after his saddle slipped early on. at Southwell last time.
And looking ahead to Sunday, we have Finest View attempting to stretch her winning run to five at Cartmel, the mare’s official mark having risen 23lb since she started the spree in March.
Our other Sunday runner is Chosen Path at Uttoxeter, and doubtless Alan is hoping that the forecast thunderstorms this week-end reach the West Midlands as this fellow is more effective when the mud is flying.