Alan King is preparing Trueshan for an autumn campaign after missing Royal Ascot for the third year in succession, with an eventual switch to hurdling still being “seriously considered”.
While victories in the Goodwood Cup, the Prix du Cadran and two wins in the Long Distance Cup have cemented Trueshan’s status as a top-class stayer, aspirations to bid for Gold Cup glory at the Royal meeting have now been scuppered by unsuitable conditions in each of the past three seasons.
King has resisted the temptation to enter his stable star for this year’s Goodwood Cup on August 1, instead electing to give him a mid-season break before sending him back to France in October.
“He’s fine and he’s going to have a break now, I didn’t even enter him for the Goodwood Cup. We’re just going to give him a little break for a few weeks and then train him for the autumn,” said the Barbury Castle handler.
“We’ll probably train him for the Cadran again and then possibly Ascot on Champions Day or the Prix Royal-Oak, depending on how he is.
“If you keep on going all summer you’re praying for rain and I’d rather just give him the time now.
“No doubt Goodwood will probably come up soft to heavy and I’ll be kicking myself, but that’s the decision we made.”
Trueshan has been a beaten favourite in each of his two starts so far this season, since when he has undergone wind surgery.
It was in the immediate aftermath of his most recent defeat in Ascot’s Sagaro Stakes that King raised the intriguing possibility of sending him over obstacles at some stage, and it remains on the cards.
King said: “We’ll see how we get on come the autumn, but it will certainly be seriously considered.
“Giving him the break now helps in that regard too because otherwise you keep going all summer and all winter, which is difficult.”
Despite Trueshan’s absence King still saddled three runners at Royal Ascot, with both Tritonic and HMS President picking up minor honours.
Tritonic finished a creditable third in the two-and-a-half-mile Ascot Stakes, while HMS President was beaten just a neck into second place by Okita Soushi in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes.
Outlining future plans for the duo, King added: “Tritonic will go to Goodwood for the two-and-a-half-mile race, I think it’s on the Friday, and there’s a possibility HMS President will go to Newmarket next week over a mile and six (furlongs).
“After that hopefully he might go for the Ebor. He’s rated 101 now and that rating has got in for the last two or three years, I think. It’s going to be tight, but hopefully he might get in.”