Trueshan jockey Hollie Doyle seeking softer ground at Ascot

Hollie Doyle believes the soft Ascot ground will suit Trueshan as the six-year-old looks for his third-straight victory in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Saturday.

Trueshan announced himself as the heir to Stradivarius' staying crown when defending the Long Distance Cup as the evens favourite in 2021.

But one of the driest summers on record, combined with the emergence of Kyprios as a staying superpower, has seen Trueshan's place at the two-mile top table come under threat.

Although producing a fine weight-carrying display to land the Northumberland Plate, he had to settle for a bronze medal behind Kyprios and Stradivarius when the trio clashed at Goodwood and suffered a shock defeat to Coltrane when odds-on for the Doncaster Cup most recently.

He now returns to Berkshire and a track and trip he knows well, with his rider confident conditions can see the son of Planteur record a hat-trick in the two-mile contest.

"It's great to get back on him and hopefully the going will suit him - it's currently good to soft, soft in places and there is a bit more rain forecast, so the softer the better," Doyle told Sky Sports Racing.

"It's very much unlike him to do that and not run in a straight line (at Doncaster), he's usually very straightforward. It was a small field and we went very slow. It was kind of a tactical affair really and he ran a very solid race but obviously we were disappointed we didn't win that day.

"He ran an excellent race at Goodwood, so I can't knock him for that run. But horses that are so ground dependant and try as hard as he does, it might well have been in the back of his mind.

"We think he is kind of better suited to a big field - he's proven that in the Northumberland Plate and in the Long Distance Cup the last two years - and hopefully we can get him back to his best. I have no doubt Alan (King) can do that, he knows him inside out."

Doyle has four rides on British Champions Day, also partnering last year's fifth Vadream for Charlie Fellowes in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes and John Quinn's Safe Voyage in the concluding Balmoral Handicap.

However, outside of Trueshan, Doyle's best chance of a victory could be aboard Archie Watson's Tempus when the pair link up in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

"He's been really progressive this year and has been a horse that has been great for Archie Watson and Hambleton Racing," she continued. "He's improved rapidly over the last few months.

"It was a disaster really in the Joel Stakes. He jumped a bit slow which is really unlike him and the race kind of congregated towards the far-side rail. I had to wait for a bit of room a few strides longer than ideal and I got going very late on. He wasn't beat far, he loves Ascot and I think he will thrive on the ground.

"Obviously, it's a big ask stepping into Group One company, but I wouldn't be surprised if he runs a big race."

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