More Ascot glory for King as Trueshan and Doyle waltz to Long Distance Cup win
Alan King's love affair with Ascot continued as the trainer best known for his success over jumps added his latest big-race victory on the Flat at the royal racecourse thanks to Trueshan's devastating performance under Hollie Doyle in the Group 2 Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup.
On ground more associated with winter racing over jumps, Trueshan went through the ground like a "tractor" according to Doyle, giving King another sizeable win on the Flat after a Royal Ascot treble with Scarlet Dragon, Coeur De Lion and Who Dares Wins.
King opted to stay at his Barbury Castle base in Wiltshire, where the dogs were given quite a fright as he roared home Trueshan on the television.
"It's unbelievable," said King. "Obviously we hoped he would run well but we weren't expecting something like that. You couldn't expect that, but obviously the step up in trip suited him and we know he does handle that ground.
"It was all over at the two-pole and I think we scared the dogs in the house!"
King has made a conscious effort to expand his Flat team in recent years with the intention that the majority can one day progress to the jumps, but Trueshan has ended any possibility of a novice hurdle campaign with this emphatic seven-and-a-half-length success over dual Irish St Leger winner Search For A Song.
"Most of my Flat youngsters are bought to go over jumps, but if they're too good, they're too good and it's certainly not a problem," added the trainer.
"Win or lose it was always going to be his last run of the season. We'll put him away for the winter now and look forward to next summer and the Cup races. It's been a terrific season on the Flat and really exciting. It's great for the whole team."
Victory was the catalyst for a watershed afternoon for the winning rider, who was amazed how far clear she went on the winner.
"I have to pinch myself really, that was absolutely amazing," said Doyle, who has made more than one appearance on the BBC this week as her profile continues to go stratospheric.
"He was almost over-travelling with me, I had to stay out a bit wide for the first three furlongs and luckily I managed to slot in and get a nice position upsides Stradivarius. The further I was going, the better, and he was tanking with me – he went through the ground like a tractor, he loved it."
While Trueshan made light of what were clearly testing conditions on the round course, star stayer Stradivarius never travelled with his usual zest for Frankie Dettori and had nothing more to give turning for home, being heavily eased in the straight.
Champion trainer John Gosden said: "It was too deep and too heavy. He hated it and Frankie thought he pulled his shoes off. He was in good form but the ground was very deep down there and it would have probably been better running on the inner track."
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Don't miss our Big Read on the brilliant Hollie Doyle, talking to those who know her best, on racingpost.com for members and in Sunday's Racing Post newspaper