Trueshan rolls back years with Marathon victory

Trueshan rolled back the years with a comfortable victory in the Listed Esher Stakes at Sandown Park on Friday.

TRUESHAN (blue cap) winning the Doncaster Cup Stakes at Doncaster in England.
TRUESHAN (blue cap) winning the Doncaster Cup Stakes at Doncaster in England. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Whilst question marks have arisen regarding Trueshan's position in the staying hierarchy over the past few seasons, the Alan King-trained eight-year-old continues to prove he can still be effective at the top level.

Well-beaten on his first two starts this season in the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes and the Group 3 Henry II Stakes, Trueshan started favourite for the Listed contest under regular rider Hollie Doyle and appeared to retain all of his old ability, cruising for an easy two length success. Although the competition may not have been up to the level of recent outings, the gelding could only beat what was in front of him, and he finished comfortably ahead of Night Sparkle in second and Miss Cynthia in third.

"It annoys me because he always used to get beat at Nottingham and everyone thinks he is gone, but he always comes back at some point and I never lose hope and never lost faith in him," said Doyle.

"He's obviously one of my favourites and I've been riding him for a good few years now and it's great that racing fans can latch on to a horse like him.

"I think he was very grateful to be carrying 9st 2lb today instead of having a 7lb penalty on his back. I think he carries more weight on his back at home and he's had a nice time of things.

"It was quicker ground than he's used to and I just let him roll earlier than ideal probably, in case he got caught flat-footed, but he hit the line hard.

"Last year, I think people were questioning him and he went and won a Doncaster Cup after doing things completely the wrong way and then went on to win the Cadran and I think Alan does such a superb job with him. I know he gets some stick for pulling him out but he always does right by the horse.

"Hopefully he can pounce at the back-end of the season in the Cadran again and you have Doncaster and maybe Goodwood, so hopefully there is plenty more days in the sun.

"I know he's been beaten a couple of times this year but he's just been feeling so good and been carrying a bit more condition than usual, so once that comes off, he will be away!"

"I hadn't been disappointed with his two runs this year," added trainer Alan King.

"He had to carry a penalty in the Sagaro Stakes and the Henry II and what a lot of people don't seem to get is that a 7lb penalty for those two milers is a huge ask – I think it's seven lengths over two miles.

"He hasn't run badly at all, he probably needed a run or two to come on, but I was just so relieved to run him today because he's been simmering away since Ascot and I thought if we didn't run today, then we really are in trouble, so it's lovely.

"On Wednesday morning I nearly wasn't going to declare him, but Andrew Cooper (clerk of the course) said 'I think you're going to get your rain', which I couldn't see in the forecast, but thankfully he was right and they got six or seven millimetres this morning.

"I've got three and a half weeks until Goodwood and we can leave him alone next week now he's had the run and build up to that.

"He ran very well in the Goodwood Cup a couple of years ago when he was third behind Kyprios and Stradivarius, so we'll train him for that and see what happens."

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