Tag Archive for: Coltrane

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.

Alan King is more hopeful than confident ahead of Trueshan's return
Alan King is more hopeful than confident ahead of Trueshan’s return (David Davies/PA)

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.

Sweet William winning at Newbury
Sweet William winning at Newbury (Adam Davy/PA)

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.

Coltrane comes good for York revenge on Courage Mon Ami

Coltrane gained Royal Ascot revenge on Courage Mon Ami as he delivered a decisive blow in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes.

A standing dish in the top staying contests, Andrew Balding’s Sagaro Stakes winner had to play second fiddle to John and Thady Gosden’s new staying star in the Gold Cup at Ascot, but came home strongest this time around to go one better than last year.

Both Coltrane and Courage Mon Ami had no answer to front-running Quickthorn in the Goodwood Cup most recently and the defending Lonsdale Cup champion found himself in his customary position at the head of affairs as the runners rounded the first bend.

Although Frankie Dettori had Courage Mon Ami anchored in rear, the field as a whole were keen not to give Hughie Morrison’s charge too much rope on this occasion and Oisin Murphy in particular took up a stalking position travelling smoothly in mid-division.

Tom Marquand upped the tempo aboard Quickthorn swinging the turn for home but the pack were wise to the move and soon a whole host of contenders emerged to lay down their challenge.

Murphy hit the front abroad Coltrane (11-4) passing the two-furlong pole and although Yorkshire Cup winner Giavellotto and Courage Mon Ami refused dug deep in the closing stages, Coltrane finished full of running to register a one-and-a-half-length success over the staying-on Gold Cup winner, who edged out Marco Botti’s four-year-old for the runner-up spot.

It was a bittersweet win for the Baldings who saw their other runner, Nate The Great, pull up sharply.

Balding’s wife, Anna Lisa, said: “Hopefully the other horse will be OK. They’ve put a compression boot on him and taken him back to the stables. The vets are there and they are doing what they can.

Coltrane deserved his moment of glory
Coltrane deserved his moment of glory (Simon Marper/PA)

“That was fully deserved for Coltrane, though, he is adored by everyone.

“He’s been incredibly consistent. At Goodwood Tom gave Quickthorn such a great ride he fully deserved that, but it was his turn today and he’s done it in brilliant style.

“I’m thrilled to win another Group Two for Mick and Janice (Mariscotti) as they have been incredibly patient.

“He had surgery two years ago, he hasn’t looked back but that is why he doesn’t go to Australia.

“He’s like a pet, he’s adorable. I think it will be Ascot (Champions Day) next as he ran so well in the race last year.”

Dettori said of the second: “He wasn’t keen actually, it took him a while to warm up and then he came good.

“The penalty and the half a mile less made Coltrane a better horse than me.

“We didn’t let Quickthorn go today, that made a big difference. That was the right result today – Coltrane and my horse, first and second in the Gold Cup and first and second today.

“The Prix du Cadran over two and a half would be tailor-made for him and I guess he’ll come back for the Gold Cup next year without me!”

John Gosden added: “He just ran out of track a bit, but at the end of the day look at the form of the Gold Cup and he had a 3lb penalty.

“The 3lb over two miles looked the difference. All being well he will go for the Cadran now, over two and a half miles, his favourite (distance), then we’ll put him away and all being well we’ll bring him back for the Gold Cup next year.”

Murphy looking ahead following suspension absence

Oisin Murphy is eager to make up for lost time as the season moves towards one of its busiest periods.

The 27-year-old made a blistering return from a 14-month suspension in the early part of the campaign, picking up the 1000 Guineas on Mawj and striking gold at Royal Ascot aboard Shaquille in the Commonwealth Cup.

However, it was Ascot which led to a return to the sidelines for Murphy, with the Irishman accumulating five days of suspensions for careless riding and also picking up an eight-day ban for a whip offence aboard runner-up Valiant King in the King George V Stakes.

Murphy’s enforced absence coincided with Shaquille’s fantastic July Cup triumph during Newmarket’s July Festival, but rather than dwell on missing out on partnering Julie Camacho’s superstar speedster, he kept himself busy by riding out and in the showjumping ring as he tunes up for some key months of the campaign.

“I filled my time with showjumping and I was riding out a lot,” explained Murphy. “But at the same time I do love race riding and I’m delighted to be back.

“I jumped a lot and had a good few lessons. I always want to be a better showjumper, but I only get to train sporadically so it’s quite hard to improve.

“There’s a lot of good racing coming up. That was my first whip infringement and I hope it will be my last because the penalties are severe.”

Oisin Murphy made a winning return aboard No Surrender at Leicester
Oisin Murphy made a winning return aboard No Surrender at Leicester (PA)

Having got on the scoresheet at Leicester on his first day back in the saddle, Murphy is now keen to build up his confidence ahead of the Qatar Goodwood Festival which is always a major week for Qatar Racing’s retained rider.

He will also get the chance to reunite with Gold Cup runner-up Coltrane in the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup Stakes, with Andrew Balding’s stayer now one of the leading players in the top races over marathon distances.

“Hopefully I can just roll away and get my confidence up and look ahead to those big races coming up,” added Murphy.

“In bygone years I have had favourites for the Sussex Stakes and the Nassau at Goodwood and I probably won’t be in that position this time, but it is still an important meeting to try to do well there.

Coltrane ridden by Oisin Murphy on their way to winning the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot
Coltrane ridden by Oisin Murphy on their way to winning the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot (David Davies/PA)

“There’s Coltrane in the Goodwood Cup. He’s been fantastic since Ascot. I don’t really ride him at home, he has the same rider, Chris, all the time. I saw him the other day and he looked great, he seems to have held his condition really well and Andrew is really happy.”

As well as Goodwood, there are also big meetings at Ascot, York and Deauville on the horizon and Murphy is relishing the opportunity to link up with David Menuisier’s impressive Sandown winner Sunway when he continues his racing education later this summer.

He said: “There’s a colt of David Menuisier’s called Sunway, who has come out of his race at Sandown well and he could be off to Ascot or Deauville I think.

“It’s great to probably have him to ride. He looks a very nice horse.”

Coltrane heads 14 contenders for Gold Cup honours

Coltrane and Eldar Eldarov are among 14 runners declared for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on Thursday.

Winner of the Ascot Stakes 12 months ago, the Andrew Balding-trained Coltrane has since developed into a top-class stayer.

The six-year-old inflicted a shock defeat on Trueshan in last season’s Doncaster Cup before the tables were turned on Champions Day at Ascot, but Coltrane reasserted his authority on his reappearance in Ascot’s Sagaro Stakes last month and has been at the head of the Gold Cup betting ever since.

He will renew rivalry with with Adam Nicol’s Sagaro runner-up Wise Eagle and the fourth-placed Trueshan, whose trainer Alan King will have been pleased to see the rain arrive in Berkshire.

Eldar Eldarov (left) winning the St Leger
Eldar Eldarov (left) winning the St Leger (Tim Goode/PA)

Like Coltrane, Roger Varian’s Eldar Eldarov is a previous Royal Ascot winner, having last season come out on top in a pulsating renewal of the Queen’s Vase.

The Dubawi colt went on to claim Classic glory in the St Leger and made a most encouraging start to his four-year-old campaign when runner-up in the Yorkshire Cup.

Charlie Johnston’s Subjectivist has suffered his fair share of problems since a brilliant victory in the 2021 Gold Cup, but returns in a bid to regain his crown.

Aidan O’Brien, who has won the race on a record eight occasions, this year saddles both Emily Dickinson and Broome, while Frankie Dettori partners John and Thady Gosden’s unbeaten four-year-old Courage Mon Ami in what will be his final Gold Cup before retirement.

Yibir (Charlie Appleby) and Echoes In Rain (Willie Mullins) also feature in what appears a wide-open renewal of the two-and-a-half-mile showpiece.

Day three of the Royal meeting gets underway with the Group Two Norfolk Stakes, for which Karl Burke’s dual winner Elite Status is a hot favourite to see off 15 other speedy juveniles.

His opponents include American Rascal, a son of the trainer’s dual Royal Ascot heroine Lady Aurelia, and his compatriot No Nay Mets, who will be ridden by Dettori.

Al Asifah is odds-on for a 19-runner Ribblesdale Stakes after being supplemented off the back of a scintillating Listed success at Goodwood. Infinite Cosmos (Sir Michael Stoute) and Bluestocking (Ralph Beckett) look her two biggest threats.

Balding staying cool under pressure, as big week looms large

There is no disputing a huge week awaits Andrew Balding at Royal Ascot. But equally it is very much a feeling of “good pressure…the pressure you want” for the Kingsclere trainer, as he prepares to send out a team captained by Classic winner Chaldean.

Balding arrives in Berkshire with a string in fine form, boasting a near 20 per cent strike-rate in the last two weeks, and with leading chances in two of the real showpiece events of the meeting.

The 2000 Guineas hero Chaldean will head his formidable team, as he takes on Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Paddington and unbeaten Cicero’s Gift in a mouthwatering St James’s Palace Stakes on Tuesday.

“Obviously, we were thrilled with his Guineas win. That was his main objective for the early part of the season and this will be his second target. This, we always hoped, would be the plan,” said Balding.

“He had a little break after Newmarket. He has freshened up well and his work has been as solid as ever and we’re looking forward to it.

“There’s pressure, obviously, he is wearing the crown at the moment and that gives you added pressure.”

Balding will run Berkshire Shadow in the curtain-raising Queen Anne Stakes, the first of three Group One races on the opening afternoon.

Beaten just under two lengths in a bunched finish in the St James’s Palace last year, he opened his four-year-old campaign with a Listed win at Wolverhampton and another success in the valuable All-Weather Mile Championship at Newcastle.

Bookmakers appear to be overlooking the Dark Angel gelding, making him a general 33-1 chance.

“He ran well when finishing third in the Lockinge next time,” said Balding, as he ran through his team sitting on a bench opposite the weighing room at Newbury, where he waited to saddle a three-year-old. “We think he’d have an each-way chance again.

Berkshire Shadow is already a Royal Ascot winner
Berkshire Shadow is already a Royal Ascot winner (Steven Paston/PA)

“It is a tough division, but he is a high-class horse, who won a Coventry a couple of years ago.”

Dante Stakes winner The Foxes, who subsequently failed to see out the Derby trip, will not be among the yard’s runners, although Oaks eighth Sea Of Roses will take her place in the Ribblesdale.

Kempton’s Magnolia Stakes winner Foxes Tales and Notre Belle Bete, who has placed three times this year and landed over £100,000 when scoring in the All-Weather Easter Classic at Newcastle, are Balding’s contenders in the Wolferton Stakes.

“He (Foxes Tales) has a (3lb) penalty. He is in the Wolferton.” said Balding. “We have Notre Belle Bete in that too. He’s had a great season.

“We run some two-year-olds, but we don’t quite know what to expect there,” admitted Balding, before citing two horses who may fly under the radar in Imperial Fighter and Sandrine.

Sandrine could be overlooked, according to her trainer
Sandrine could be overlooked, according to her trainer (Adam Davy/PA)

The former was beaten two and a half lengths by Native Trail in the Irish 2,000 Guineas last year, but has not hit the same heights subsequently.

Fifth to Regal Reality in the Diomed at Epsom on his last start, Balding feels he has started to come to hand again.

“Imperial Fighter will go in the Royal Hunt Cup,” he added. “He was third in the Irish Guineas last year but has just taken his time to find a bit of form this year, but I’m happy with him now. I think he’d have an each-way chance.”

Sandrine, owned by Kirsten Rausing, is a dual Group Two winner who landed the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood last July.

She won the six-furlong Albany on heavy ground two years ago and is equally effective on a quicker surface.

Andrew Balding has plenty of big guns to fire this week
Andrew Balding has plenty of big guns to fire this week (Simon Marper/PA)

Having run over seven furlongs and a mile last season, she dropped back to six furlongs at Salisbury last month and was beaten a length and a half. She is a 16-1 chance for the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes on Saturday, yet her trainer remains hopeful.

Balding said: “Sandrine could be overlooked in the Jubilee, because she is high class.

“The return to sprinting will suit her. She was a bit disappointing at Salisbury, but I think there were legitimate excuses for that.

“She seems in great nick at home and she goes there, as long as the ground is not too quick, with what we think is a great each-way chance.”

By then, he will know whether it has been a successful Royal meeting or not, particularly since he has another plum chance with Coltrane, who is a general 11-4 chance for the feature on Ladies Day – the Gold Cup.

Coltrane holds a favourite's chance in the week's feature
Coltrane holds a favourite’s chance in the week’s feature (David Davies/PA)

With Aidan O’Brien’s crack stayer Kyprios unable to defend his crown through injury, Balding feels Mick and Janice Mariscotti’s six-year-old – who won the Ascot Stakes, Esher Stakes and Doncaster Gold Cup last season – has every chance of backing up his recent Sagaro success as he steps back up to two and a half miles.

“It looks an open Gold Cup,” Balding said. “The good thing about Coltrane is we know he stays and we know he loves the track. That has go to be a massive plus.

“He seems in great heart and I couldn’t be more thrilled with his Sarago win. I thought that was his best performance ever.”

Acknowledging what is to come, he said: “Of course there’s pressure. But it is a good pressure. This is the pressure you want.

“You are always happy if you get just one winner at the meeting, so fingers crossed.”

Coltrane remains on course for Gold Cup challenge

Ante-post favourite Coltrane heads 15 contenders for Thursday’s Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

Winner of the Sagaro Stakes on his seasonal bow over two miles at the Berkshire track, the six-year-old lifted the Ascot Stakes at the Gold Cup trip of two and a half miles at last year’s fixture before going on to finish fourth in the Goodwood Cup, second in the Lonsdale Cup and win the Doncaster Cup.

His trainer Andrew Balding also has Nate The Great among the contenders, with the Roger Varian-trained Eldar Eldarov another towards the top of the market after winning last year’s St Leger and taking second in the Yorkshire Cup.

Broome is one of three for Aidan O'Brien
Broome is one of three for Aidan O’Brien (Adam Davy/PA)

Aidan O’Brien has the choice of Emily Dickinson, Broome and Changingoftheguard, with last year’s victor Kyprios sidelined by injury, while John and Thady Gosden, trainers of three-time race winner Stradivarius, have lightly-raced Goodwood scorer Courage Mon Ami in contention this time.

Subjectivist, winner of the race in 2021, the Charlie Appleby-trained Yibir and Willie Mullins’ Echoes In Rain are other key names, with Sagaro second Wise Eagle, Trueshan Tashkhan, Lone Eagle and French raider Big Call also in the mix.

As expected, Al Asifah has been supplemented for the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes.

The Gosden-trained filly made a huge impression with a Listed win at Goodwood last Sunday and owners Shadwell paid £13,125 to add her to the field.

Stablemates Ghara and Lmay also feature in the list of 22 possibles, with the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Infinite Cosmos another leading player after finishing third to subsequent Oaks winner Soul Sister in the Musidora at York.

Be Happy and Red Riding Hood could represent O’Brien in an Irish challenge that also includes Azazat, Lumiere Rock and Village Voice. The Fabrice Chappet-trained Crown Princesse provides French interest.

Elite Status is a leading Norfolk Stakes hope
Elite Status is a leading Norfolk Stakes hope (Adam Davy/PA)

National Stakes winner Elite Status is one of 33 in the Norfolk Stakes, where Wes Ward’s American Rascal – a son of dual Royal Ascot winner Lady Aurelia – is another popular pick. George Boughey’s Asadna is also entered.

Newbury winner Bertinelli tops 46 in the King George V Stakes with the 19 contenders for the Hampton Court Stakes including the likes of Epictetus, Torito, Waipiro and Oaks third Caernarfon.

The Britannia Stakes has 59 entries, with 58 in the final event on Thursday, the Buckingham Palace Stakes.

Quick ground no concern for Balding ahead of Chaldean’s Ascot run

Andrew Balding has no concerns about the prospect of Chaldean tackling quicker ground at Royal Ascot.

The Dewhurst and 2000 Guineas winner remains on target for what looks a stellar renewal of the St James’s Palace Stakes on the first day of the meeting, June 20.

For Balding, with the Guineas already in the bag, he can approach the meeting with the pressure slightly lifted.

“The Classics are a big deal, particularly the Guineas. To get it early in the season is a huge effort,” he said.

“Having won the Dewhurst, you spend the whole winter with high expectations. You then get there and it was more of a relief than a feeling of ecstasy. It was a great one to get on the board and everyone was rightfully very happy with themselves.

“The St James’s Palace is the intended target. Chances are he is going to have to encounter some faster ground at some stage. I haven’t got a concern myself; it was quite fast when he won at York and I think at Ascot, the round track there should really play to his strengths, we’re looking forward to it.”

Chaldean is one of two major chances for the trainer in two of the feature races as he will also saddle Coltrane, the Sagaro Stakes winner, in the Gold Cup on the Thursday.

Balding told Tattersalls: “He’s a bit of a star, he wasn’t an expensive yearling (50,000 guineas). He has been a pleasant surprise from day one in everything he’s done. He looked stone cold useless as a two-year-old to be honest. He could hardly get up to the top of the gallop and just improved and improved.

Coltrane is heading for the Gold Cup
Coltrane is heading for the Gold Cup (David Davies/PA)

“He had improved with racing but had a setback at the beginning of his four-year-old career. He missed a lot and the way he’s come back is an absolute tribute to his steel. He’s just a fabulous horse to train and I thought he was very impressive in the Sagaro Stakes.

“If he can produce that sort of a performance at Ascot on Gold Cup day, then he’s got to be a player.

“I think the last run suggests he is better than ever. I thought he was very impressive. He put in a similar performance at Sandown last year where he looked very good, and we were just thrilled with the way he won at Ascot.

“It was obvious that we didn’t need to be running again before the Gold Cup because there’s a busy time after that as well so hopefully, if we can get him there in the same form, he should have a great chance.”

Coltrane stakes Gold Cup claim with Sagaro success

Andrew Balding’s Coltrane turned the tables on his Champions Day conqueror Trueshan with a dominant display in the Longines Sagaro Stakes at Ascot.

Just touched off by Alan King’s Trueshan in the Long Distance Cup, having won the Doncaster Cup a month previously, Coltrane (11-4) is now one of the leading contenders for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot after landing this notable trial.

Having missed over a year between October 2020 and November 2021, it took a while for him to resume the progress he had shown at three.

However, last season it all clicked and and he progressed from finishing second on his reappearance in the Chester Cup off 95 to win the Ascot Stakes before locking horns with Trueshan et al in the Cup races.

Trueshan had something to prove having been beaten by Rajinsky at Nottingham last month and while he gained revenge on that rival, he had to settle for fourth this time.

Hollie Doyle raised the pace aboard Trueshan half a mile from home, but Oisin Murphy was able to easily track her before quickening clear to win by four and three-quarter lengths.

Wise Eagle ran a massive career best in second, with El Habeeb taking third.

Betfair make the winner the 5-1 second-favourite for the Gold Cup behind Aidan O’Brien’s Emily Dickinson at 7-2.

Oisin Murphy salutes the crowd on Coltrane
Oisin Murphy salutes the crowd on Coltrane (PA)

Balding said: “He looked very good when he won the Melrose (at three) and he hasn’t really looked back.

“To come back here in June is the plan and he’s very versatile ground-wise and he’s a course and distance winner.”

Murphy, riding his first Pattern-race winner in the UK since returning from a 14-month suspension, added: “It’s fantastic to ride so many winners for Andrew, including a few better races like on Good Friday.

“This horse has very lucky owners (Janice and Mick Mariscotti) who have 10 horses with him. Coltrane is in the form of his life, and Andrew has done a terrific job getting him to his best.”

Trueshan on his way to post at Ascot
Trueshan on his way to post at Ascot (David Davies/PA)

Trueshan could also contest the Gold Cup next month, but King is eyeing a possible switch in code.

He said: “It’s ground dependent, but we’ll train him for the Gold Cup. There’s a strong possibility you might see him over hurdles in the autumn.

“The Northumberland Plate, the Goodwood Cup and Ascot in October were all tough races and I hope they haven’t left their mark on him.

“I brought him back to win here and we had to come, but it was always going to be tough to beat Coltrane.

“His next race will tell us an awful lot, but whatever happens he’s been the most wonderful servant.”

Monday Musings: Doncaster Pays its Respects

They stood in the owners’ lunchroom at Doncaster yesterday on Mike Cattermole’s cue and perfectly observed the requested two minutes’ silence, writes Tony Stafford. Then, on the big screen behind the excellent cold and hot buffet, was the unforgettable image of Her Late Majesty’s greatest moment as a racehorse owner – never mind winning the Gold Cup with Estimate – the grainy St Leger victory of her home-bred filly Dunfermline in 1977, her Silver Jubilee.

Alone now of the principals of that moment, the indefatigable Willie Carson is still very much with us. With that distinctive head looking down style, along with the rhythmic punching action, he kept Dunfermline in touch with the super horse that was the previously unbeaten and never again vanquished dual Arc winner, Alleged, and Lester Piggott.

Unbelievably, the filly can be seen closing the gap that Lester began to extend once taking the lead at the four-furlong pole. In the last furlong, the filly joined her rival and inexorably gained the advantage. You can see Lester pointedly easing Alleged in the last few strides – no sign of a rat-tat-tat response once he knew the Vincent O’Brien colt was beaten.

Seven years earlier, the same peerless pair, O’Brien and Piggott, had arrived at Doncaster with a similarly unbeaten American-bred colt in the shape of Nijinsky. In his case he did indeed win the St Leger but his exertions in becoming the first (and last) Triple Crown winner since Bahram in 1935 prefaced defeats in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Champion Stakes.

Alleged, a late developer whose fragile forelegs had persuaded connections to race him in Europe despite his dirt pedigree, did not contest either of the earlier UK Classics. Piggott’s restraint on Town Moor left him fresh enough to win his first Arc three weeks later when Dunfermline did well to finish fourth. He followed up impressively in Europe’s Championship race twelve months later before retiring to stud in Kentucky.

In another uncanny moment, as the Dunfermline race was being shown, and the Royal hearse was making its six-hour roadside-packed way from Balmoral to Edinburgh, trainer Ben Hanbury happened to sit down at the next table to myself. We showed our respective respects without talking and I’m not sure quite how I recognised the former Newmarket trainer, soberly dressed, without the colourful trousers he always wore at Keeneland where Midway Lady was bought.

She won five of her six races and was unbeaten at three in 1986 when she won both the 1,000 Guineas and Oaks. Injury prevented any further active involvement but she bred an Oaks winner in Eswarah, trained by Michael Jarvis, in 2005. You guessed it, Midway Lady was a daughter – the best daughter – of Alleged.

Earlier, on my way to the track, I listened to a Radio 5 Live broadcast where I’m sure I heard that Dunfermline, situated between Perth and Edinburgh, was to be one of the towns where the car could be seen.

I bumped into fellow Arsenal fan and Derby-winning jockey Willie Ryan (Benny The Dip, 1997) in the seats outside the Press Room as they milled around before the start of the big race. He had driven Frankie Dettori to the races, laughing as he related the former champion had cried off riding Emily Dickinson for the Coolmore team to partner another filly, Ralph Beckett’s Haskoy, for whom a £50,000 supplementary entry fee was paid.

“I’ve backed Emily”, said Willie. “Frankie keeps switching off winners”, he laughed. Ryan agreed that to consider the St Leger in any ground as a mile and three-quarters race was mistaken. “It’s a long 14 furlongs anyway, but here with that five-furlong run-in it’s really a two-mile grind”, he said.

Ryan works for Charlie Appleby in his day job – “From the floor, not on top anymore”, but went on to say that the trip on that track would be the worry for New London, the favourite for the race. His stamina appeared to run out in much the way of Alleged all those 45 years ago as he finished third behind the Roger Varian-trained Eldar Eldarov.

Frankie got one thing right, Haskoy going past the post three places ahead of Emily Dickinson in second, but what he didn’t do correctly was to satisfy the stewards that there was nothing wrong with his riding. They found he had caused interference to fourth home Giavellotto, trained by Marco Botti and ridden by Neil Callan.

They demoted Haskoy to fourth, promoting Giavellotto to third and also giving New London a knock-on promotion to second. It’s quite a big deal in prizemoney terms, second and third both doubling up their original earnings while Haskoy, far from gaining a profit on the deal after the £50k supplementary fee, is now in deficit. No wonder Beckett, “under the interference rules”, is planning an appeal.

If the last few days have been a changing of the guard in terms of the Monarch, it was very much a similar situation in the race itself. The previous five winners had all either been sons or grandsons of Galileo. Yesterday he didn’t have a representative and the only second generation runners were sixth-placed 150-1 shot El Habeeb, by Al Rifai, and last home Lizzie Jean (100-1), by Nathaniel. He died last summer, so a maximum of two more crops of three-year-olds can represent him as Classic contenders.

The winner, third-placed over the line New London and fifth home Emily Dickinson were all by Dubawi, Galileo’s sparring partner for the past decade. Now, with a freer field for a few years at least, he can enjoy a King Charles III-like interregnum at the top of the stallion charts until the next King of the Sires comes along.

For Varian it was a second St Leger triumph, following Kingston Hill eight years ago, but a first for David Egan, the highly personable and talented son of weighing room legend and shrewd bloodstock dealer, John.

I had the good fortune to be representing Jonathan Barnett, one of the owners in Varian’s sprinter Dusky Lord, along with part-owner Jennie Allen at her home course. We stood in the paddock together with trainer and rider before the race. Dusky Lord had a near impossible draw but ran well. I was delighted for both trainer and rider, for whom Eldar Eldarov looks a stayer to follow.

Over in Ireland Kyprios kept up the pressure in the staying ranks, the four-year-old seeing off fellow older gentleman Hamish in the Irish St Leger. By then his Goodwood Cup victim Trueshan had failed to deliver odds of 9-2 laid on in the Doncaster Cup, his erratic steering in the last 100 yards viewed low down from right on the winning line as Hollie tried to straighten him for a final flourish. Coltrane, expertly ridden by one of this site’s ambassadors, David Probert, was a deserved beneficiary of what Alan King clearly believes is the memory of Trueshan’s hard race at Goodwood behind Kyprios and Stradivarius on faster than ideal ground.

It was gloom all round for the Trueshan team of owners. Their best-known member, Andrew Gemmell, had taken the 10.30 train from King’s Cross, travel time 90 minutes and arrived via a taxi five minutes before Trueshan’s race – scheduled off time 2.45.

All through what remained of the afternoon, Tony Hunt, Andrew’s “eyes” for the day monitored the denuded Sunday service which promised delays and cancellations, so I thought it appropriate on such a day to offer a lift to Central London.

We had a lovely three hours listening to the Test match, reminiscing about the Queen – yes, I did meet her and shared a few words when she visited the Daily Telegraph and talked about reading the racing page every day! – and learning the latest about Andrew’s great staying hurdler, Paisley Park. What a day!

- TS