Trueshan remains on course for the Goodwood Cup after his superb weight-carrying victory in the Northumberland Plate.
The Alan King-trained gelding shouldered a mammoth 10st 8lb for the staying handicap on Newcastle’s all-weather surface on Saturday, with his trainer opting to leg-up regular pilot Hollie Doyle rather than ease the burden via the use of an apprentice.
The market clearly did not consider Trueshan to be incapable of what was a tall order as he started as the 3-1 favourite and that proved right, as the hugely-popular six-year-old prevailed by half a length and brought his winning streak up to five unbeaten runs.
Seen only once this season prior to Newcastle, King had made entries for his stable star in the early part of the campaign and at Royal Ascot, but found conditions to be too quick and thus turned to the synthetic surface of the Northumberland Plate.
“We were totally delighted and surprised as well,” said the Barbury Castle handler on Sunday.
“It was a huge ask but we just needed to get a run in to him, it was a marvellous performance.
“It’s very rare on the Flat for horses to carry this amount of weight off this rating but I’d no other option, I had to run him somewhere. At least with Newcastle we knew we could get there and find suitable ground.
“He’s great, he’s 100 per cent this morning which is the main thing. Onwards and upwards hopefully.”
The Goodwood Cup, a Group One race Trueshan won in 2021, remains on the agenda, though some ease in the ground will be essential if he is to bid to retain his title.
“We’re training him for Goodwood, (but) as we all keep saying, it depends on what the English weather does,” King said.
“At least now he’s had a run, I can leave him alone for a couple of weeks and then build him back up towards the end of July. It’s taken a bit of pressure off in that respect.”