After a thunderstorm brought a deluge of rain (16mm of it) to Goodwood overnight the going was changed to ‘Heavy, Soft in places, and that was enough to deter John and Thady Gosden from running their four-time Goodwood Cup winner Stradivarius in a bid for a historic fifth win in the race.
Conversely the rain was ideal for Trueshan, who’d been himself withdrawn on the morning of the Ascot Gold Cup last month on the basis that the ground was too firm. And it was trainer Alan King’s 5 year old gelding who took advantage of Stradivarius’s absence to win comfortably by three and three quarter lengths.
It was a red-letter day for jockey Hollie Doyle, who has now ridden Trueshan five times on the racecourse, winning four and finishing second on the other occasion.
King admitted to some nerves ahead of the big race. “I was calm all morning and then Stradivarius was pulled out and we got shorter and shorter – that’s when the nerves kicked in. I hadn’t been that nervous for a long time.”
King, who started off primarily a jumps trainer but who has been enjoying increasing levels of success on the flat in recent years, was quick to point out the importance of running Trueshan in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle after his planned run in the Ascot Gold Cup was aborted. “If we hadn’t run him there and come straight from Chester he could have been ferocious today. We were able to let him down for two weeks and then build him back up.”
In the race Doyle had her mount positioned well throughout and made her challenge entering the straight as the runners came across the track to the perceived faster ground on the stands rail. Taking it up well over two out Trueshan had to battle hard to fend off a dogged challenge from outsider Away he Goes but Doyle had plenty horse under her and powered away in the final furlong to seal an emphatic win.
Doyle, enjoying her second win at the top level was understandably elated , “It’s been in my mind every day since Champions Day about when we could get back together in a big race like this. These are the days you do it for.”
The win formed the first leg of a treble on Day 1 of the meeting for the jockey whose career goes from strength to strength.