Trueshan now a possibility for Northumberland Plate at Newcastle
For the second year running the heavens stayed firmly shut for the best part of Royal Ascot, meaning that yet again the ground was too firm for Trueshan to run either in the Gold Cup or the Queen Alexandra Stakes.
However, Trueshan is a horse who needs to be kept busy, so, rather than wait for the Goodwood Cup, Alan is considering taking our stable-star up to Newcastle on Saturday for the Northumberland Plate which is run on the tapeta surface.
Trueshan, who will be defending his crown at Goodwood, enjoyed a lucrative second half of last season, winning a second Group 1 in the Prix du Cadran at Longchamp before signing off by completing the hat-trick with back-to-back successes in the Long Distance Stayers Cup on Champions Day at Ascot.
Alan will enter Trueshan for Newcastle at today’s five-day declaration stage, and if he does give him the green light to go to Gosforth Park it will be the second year running that the horse has run in the race all Geordies still refer to as the Pitmens Derby.
When Trueshan ran there last year, he was the highest-rated horse to run in a British handicap for 20 years, and under his welter burden he finished an honourable sixth, beaten less than four lengths.
On Saturday, Trueshan, who now has an official mark of 120, would be 2lb higher than he was 12 months ago, when Alan used the 5lb claiming apprentice Rhys Cluttherbuck to lessen the weight
Alan said: ”Ascot was frustrating not knowing whether the forecast thunderstorms would arrive or not, and even if they did would it be in time to ease the ground after those scorching temperatures.
“The Gold Cup always looked long odds against, so we put Plan B into action and entered for the Queen Alexandra on Saturday. We left a decision as late as possible and waited patiently, but there simply was not enough rain to make the difference in the ground.
“Obviously, Trueshan would have a nigh-impossible task at the weights in the Plate, but we’ll make up our minds later in the week. It surely must rain again some time, mustn’t it?
“The Goodwood and Doncaster Cups would come up next, but we are reliant on the weather, so it’s a case of ‘wait and see”.”