Trueshan digs deep to land third QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup
Trueshan became the first horse to win three times on QIPCO British Champions Day as he edged out Coltrane in the opening G2 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup.
The 11/8 favourite was lifted home by Hollie Doyle in a stirring conclusion to the two-mile highlight. Coltrane ran a mighty race in defeat as he attempted to confirm the Doncaster Cup form with Trueshan, ultimately going down by a head. The front pair pulled three lengths clear of Trawlerman in third.
Winning trainer Alan King said: “The ground was right today, and Trueshan had to be at his best. Hollie said she thought with a furlong to go, she’d go and win and win well, but Coltrane was not stopping and he came back at us. He had to be right up there today to hold them off.
“I didn’t enjoy watching it – I’ll enjoy the replay! But he was in a lovely place and travelling well, and I must admit, turning in I thought, we’ve got a good chance here. I’m very good friends with the Mariscottis who own Coltrane, and I thought, they’re going to come and do us again! But it’s great to have him back.
“I think last time at Doncaster he was remembering Goodwood and wouldn’t let himself down. He came to challenge and he went right, he went left – he just wouldn’t go forward and I think he was just remembering things. He had a week down at Jamie McGee’s on the water treadmill, which he absolutely loves, and then we started training him for this. He’s had two or three days on the treadmill after his bits of work, which just loosens him up. As you saw today, it’s got him back. I took the view that, win, lose or draw today, I had all winter to get him back!
“I think the one thing we’ve learned it that he does not go on quickish ground again. He’s not as good on it and it leaves its mark. A few people doubted me for that and I’ve had all the criticism for withdrawing him on numerous occasions, but you’ve got to. As long as we mind him, he could be around for a few years yet. I just want a very wet June, because the one thing I’d love to run him in is the Gold Cup.”
Doyle said: “What a horse. I am speechless to be honest. Alan King is the maker of this horse. From what he has done today on the back of his last two runs is phenomenal.
“It was really rough going into that first bend. I had Wordsworth on my outside. I was caught in a pocket and it was one of them where you either kick in or get flattened. I kicked in and some people suffered as a consequence.
“For someone like me, I’m quite emotionally invested in the sport and days like this mean the world to me.”
David Probert said of Coltrane: “He is a very tough horse and hopefully he can go back into next year as one of the best stayers around. I am sure he will have his day in the sunshine again.”
Andrew Balding said: “Coltrane is just so brave and tough and was beaten by a fine horse on the day.”
John Gosden said of Trawlerman: “He has run a great race and had a lovely run. For an Ebor winner to then come and mix it with the Group horses is great.”
Quickthorn finished fifth after making the running. Trainer Hughie Morrison said: “He has run really well considering the hard race he had at Longchamp – he couldn’t handle the ground there. He didn’t give up today and we have had a wonderful season with him.”
1.25pm QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2)
1 Trueshan (Singula Partnership) Alan King 6-9-09 Hollie Doyle 11/8F
2 Coltrane (Mick & Janice Mariscotti) Andrew Balding 5-9-09 David Probert 10/1
3 Trawlerman (Godolphin) John & Thady Gosden 4-9-09 Frankie Dettori 20/1
Alan King – 3rd winner on QIPCO British Champions Day
Hollie Doyle – 4th winner on QIPCO British Champions Day