QIPCO Long Distance Cup: Holly Doyle strikes on Trueshan

Trueshan and Hollie Doyle power clear at Ascot

Hollie Doyle capped her memorable 2020 by steering Trueshan (11/1) to a runaway victory in the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup.

In the same week as she passed her own record of 117 of winners for a female jockey in a calendar year, she brought Alan King's charge with a storming run down the straight on his first start over two miles.

He mastered eventual third Fujaira Prince (10/1) inside the final quarter of a mile and drew clear of the her rivals, headed by Irish St Leger winner Search For A Song (7/1).

11/10 favourite Stradivarius was in trouble before the turn for home and never a factor.

Trueshan was a 25/1 selection for our Chris Day in his Weekend View column.

Doyle said: “That was incredible; he has given me some feel there, I travelled all over them. I had Stradivarius on my inside, he came off it probably three-and-a-half/four down. He doesn't like being crowded, so I switched him at the three pole and the further I went the better.

“This is a proper horse, he won his first two starts. I’ve always liked him but I’m not going to lie, I didn’t realise he would be up to Group Two level like today.

“I’m really happy people are seeing me as just a jockey and not a female jockey. Shout out to Alan King because he is some trainer.”

"I have to pinch myself really, that was absolutely amazing. I rode Trueshan at Wolverhampton when he won and it was a bit of a surprise, and then he went and bolted up at Ffos Las. I haven’t been on him since as I haven’t been able to ride him but I am really grateful to the owners and Alan for putting me back on him today. It was great.

“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 me – he went through the ground like a tractor, he loved it!

Hollie Doyle after winning the opener on Champions Day

“The pace was reasonable but Trueshan was over-travelling, it felt like we were hacking round. Probably three and a half, four down, Stradivarius came off it but he can do that sometimes, so I didn’t think too much of it. I switched my fellow around horses because they said he didn’t like getting too crowded in the Ebor. When I pushed the button, he responded. It is testing. It’s wet, heavy ground and it’s hard work.”

King was not present, but said from his yard: “It’s unbelievable. 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!

“Most of my Flat youngsters are bought to go over jumps, but if they’re too good, they’re too good and it’s not a problem.

“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.”

Stradivarius in mid-division at Ascot

John Gosden said of Stradivarius: “It (ground) was too deep and too heavy. He hated it and Frankie (Dettori) thought he pulled his shoes off.

“He was in good form. The ground was very deep down there and he would have probably been better running on the inner track.”

Dettori added: “I was never there and there is not much else I can say.”

Sky Bet, Betfair and Paddy Power Trueshan a 10/1 chance for the Gold at Royal Ascot next year, Stradivarius is 5/1 to win the race for a fourth-time with Sky Bet.

Their Head of Sports PR Michael Shinners said: "That was a sensational performance by Trueshan who relished going over two miles for the first time. He looks a real player for next year’s staying races."

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