Trueshan back in action for Coltrane Cup rematch

Alan King expects Trueshan to improve for his comeback run in the Betfred Doncaster Cup.

The seven-year-old has been a fantastic servant to his connections, with three editions of the Long Distance Cup at Ascot, a Goodwood Cup and the Prix du Cadran featuring on his big-race CV.

His well-documented preference for an ease in the ground meant that for the third year in succession he missed the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June and King subsequently opted to give his star stayer a wind operation and a midsummer break in the hope he could bounce back to his best in the autumn.

Friday’s Group Two feature will be Trueshan’s first outing since finishing fourth in Ascot’s Sagaro Stakes in May behind a familiar foe in Coltrane, who also beat him in this race 12 months ago and is again in opposition.

“We’ve got to get him started, he’s been off a long time,” said King.

“We gave him a break after Ascot and he’s ready to start back. I think whatever he does he’s going to come on plenty for it, but I just felt with the rain coming it was worth getting a run into him.

“It’s his first run for a while and his first run since a wind op and sometimes they just need a couple of runs to give them their confidence back.

“I’m happy with him at home and I just want to see him run well.”

Trueshan again holds an entry in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup on October 21, while a return to Paris for the Prix du Cadran at the end of this month could also be on his agenda.

An intriguing switch to hurdles has also been mooted by King, but the Barbury Castle handler is keen to get his return out of the way before committing to future plans.

He added: “That (Cadran) is the plan, but let’s see how we go on Friday first.”

Andrew Balding expects the ultra-consistent Coltrane to run his usual solid race.

He said: “Coltrane is a real yard favourite and he has had a great season already. He won the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot, he was then second in the Ascot Gold Cup, he ran very well at Goodwood and obviously won the Lonsdale Cup at York last time out.

“The great thing about him is he seems to be effective on any ground and in any sort of style of race, which is a big help for these stayers.

“He obviously won the race last year, but he does carry a penalty this year which makes life a lot tougher.

“If Trueshan is anywhere near his best he will be a very tough opponent and Sweet William is an improving horse as well. It is not a straightforward task, but the horse is really well and he seems to thrive on his racing.”

Sweet William completed a hat-trick of wins earlier in the season for John and Thady Gosden before filling the runner-up spot behind Absurde when favourite for the Ebor last month.

Robert Havlin has been ever present in the saddle during Sweet William’s seven-race career to date and is looking forward to seeing him step up in class for this Qipco British Champions Series contest.

He said: “Sweet William is probably my best horse this year as he’s won three times and never been out of the first two. We think there’s more improvement to come and we think he might make up into an Ascot Gold Cup and Goodwood Cup type of horse next year.

“Since we put blinkers on he’s been ultra consistent. It was obviously another great run in the Ebor, but I was gutted when Frankie (Dettori, on Absurde) got back up after I’d headed him.

“He’s won over two miles and the Ebor was obviously a drop back in trip. He gets the trip well so there are a lot of positives, especially after all the rain.

“He doesn’t need soft ground, but he handles it very well.”

Aidan O’Brien’s Broome and the Ian Williams-trained The Grand Visir complete the five-strong field.

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