Trueshan prevailed on his status as market favourite to win the Group 1 Goodwood Cup Stakes at Glorious Goodwood towards the backend of last month. With Hollie Doyle in the saddle, the Alan King-trained five-year-old beat Away He Goes over the line by just short of four lengths, and the horse’s connections are not prepared to sit on their laurels.
Trueshan’s owner Andrew Gemmell, who also owns former Cheltenham Festival Stayers’ Hurdle champion Paisley Park, was clearly jubilant with a victory in the two-mile race at Goodwood, branding it as his ‘biggest winner on the Flat’.
However, he was quick to look ahead to the future, and he certainly has his sights set on another big victory before the season is out — with the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup at this month’s Yorkshire Ebor Festival or the Group 2 Doncaster Cup at next month’s St. Leger Festival his primary targets.
“Onwards to either the Lonsdale Cup or the Doncaster Cup, hopefully,” Gemmell said. “The ground will be important, of course. I think he can go on good ground, but if there’s any firm in the going then he won’t be running.
“It was great for him to win the other day after missing the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. The weather just conspired against us, unfortunately – the rain came during the last race on the Thursday, which was no use to us.
“If the Gold Cup had been run on the Friday we’d have been there with a big shout.”
Trueshan is behind only Stradivarius in the Ebor betting odds for the two and a half mile Lonsdale Cup. But, given the recent form of John Gosden’s prized asset, who failed to defend his Gold Cup crown at Ascot before pulling out of the Goodwood Cup due to the going, Trueshan would surely have the backing of the punters at York.
However, it seems that if the five-year-old is to make an appearance at the Ebor Festival, which is due to take place at the historic York Racecourse between 18-21 August, there will need to be plenty of rain in the forecast over the next two weeks or so. Gemmell has made it pretty clear that if there’s any firm in the going, that Trueshan won’t be running.
And, with not much rain expected throughout the course of the next week, there is a danger that the ground could dry up and become firm ahead of the race on day three of the meeting. That means that heading to Doncaster Racecourse for the St Leger Festival in September for the Doncaster Cup, which forms part of the Stayers’ Triple Crown alongside the Ascot Gold Cup and Goodwood Cup, is a much more likely scenario.
Of course, with the two mile, two furlong Doncaster Cup making up a key fixture in the long distance category of the British Champions Series, the race will boast a world-class field. Last year’s winner Spanish Mission, who was third in this year’s Gold Cup, will be out to defend his crown, while 2019 champion Stradivarius could enter the stalls in a bid to retain his title. So Trueshan will have his work cut out!
Gemmel’s plans for the five-year-old will become clearer closer to the Doncaster Cup, but wherever he ends up, there will be a lot of pressure for the horse and esteemed jockey Doyle to deliver once again!
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