Trueshan silences the knockers yet again with brilliant win at Sandown

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July 6

July just gets better and better for all of us at Barbury, and those who persist in trying to to write off stable-star Trueshan were served a large helping of humble pie for supper last night, following the eight-year-old’s return to form in the Coral Marathon at Sanown yesterday.

Trueshan has probably never settled better in a race, and Hollie Doyle oozed confidence all the way round. She asked him to win his race at the two-furlong pole and the response was immediate and decisive. The pair quickly asserted their superiority up the hill and won easing down by two lengths, the 16th success of his career.

Granted, this was only a Listed race, but Alan has been convinced that having to carry the 7lb Group 1 penalty was a major part in Trueshan being beaten in his first two races for the last couple of seasons.

Alan was not on the Esher slopes, but, having enjoyed lunch with a few owners, who included Andrew Gemmell, one of the members of the syndicate behind Trueshan, they got back to the yard in time to cheer him home.

“I’m thrilled,” was Alan’s predictable reaction before continuing the defence. He added: “I have never shared the disappointment of others in Trueshan’s two runs this season. Lots of people fail to understand that for a two-mile horse that penalty is equivalent to seven lengths which makes it a huge ask.

“He hadn’t run that badly anyway in the Sagaro and the Henry 11 Stakes. He is now in the veteran stage so probably needed those two runs to bring him on, though it was such a relief that the rain came, enabling me to give him another run,

“It was obviously so disappointing that we could not run in the Gold Cup, but Trueshan has been simmering away since Ascot and you can only keep a horse that way for a certain amount of time. Had we not been able to run again at Sandown because of quick ground, we really were in trouble.

“I wasn’t even going to declare Trueshan on Wednesday morning, but clerk of the course Andrew Cooper rang me and said ‘I think you are going to get your rain’.

“I could not see that in my weather forecast, but Andrew was full of optimism and thankfully he was right and they got between seven and eight millimetres on Friday morning,”

So what of the future for Trueshan, “I’ve got three and a half weeks until Goodwood, so we can give him an easy time next week and then build him up for that,” declared Alan.

“He ran well when third to Kyprios and Stradivarius in that race two years ago, so we’ll train him for Goodwood and see if we get the rain at the right time,” he continued.

Hollie Doyle, who rates Trueshan one of her favourite horses, paid tribute to Alan and the team for the way in which they have been able to maximise the gelding’s longevity.

She said:”I get annoyed at the stick which Alan gets when he is forced to take out Trueshan at the eleventh hour. But Alan’s priority has always been for the welfare of the horse, and I’ve never lost faith.

“Trueshan probably felt he was running loose without that 7lb penalty. Despite the rain, it was still quicker ground than he is used to, so I let him roll along earlier than would have been ideal in case he got caught flat-footed.

“However, he had settled so well this time and hit the line hard. Last year people questioned whether he had gone, yet he bounced back and won a Doncaster Cup after doing things the wrong way round and then went on to win a second Prix du Cadran.

“As horses get older they often take a couple of runs before coming to themselves, and that might well be the case with Trueshan. We’ve got Goodwood, Doncaster and Longchamp to look forward to, so, hopefully, there are plenty more days in the sun for him, and winning at Sandown will have done his confidence the world of good.”

Alan, impressed with the ride Dylan Browne McMonagle gave Uxmal to win the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot, has booked the Irish jockey for Midnight Rumble, our only runner today, in the mile and a quarter handicap at Sandown.

Midnight Rumble fulfilled Salisbury promise when winning on the polytrack at Lingfield last month, and, though now 6lb higher, will hopefully again be competitive.

We have three runners at Market Rasen tomorrow. Baskerville tackles his first handicap after winning his novice at Uttoxeter, Hall Lane, only fourth when favourite over the course last time, has only three opponents when he steps up to three miles for his return, while I’d Go Maniac, sixth in his first bumper on the polytrack at Lingfield last November, makes his turf debut when he reappears in their finale.