Hollie Doyle is hoping to achieve the most momentous success of her burgeoning career on Trueshan in the Gold Cup on day three of Royal Ascot. The Sky Sports Racing ambassador discusses the great race and her rides on live outsiders in the Norfolk Stakes and the Ribblesdale.
I’ve been dreaming about riding TRUESHAN in the Ascot Gold Cup (4.15) on Thursday ever since we won the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup on Champions’ Day last October – and what an exciting race it promises to be!
The script couldn’t be more mouth-watering, with the wonderful Stradivarius bidding for a record-equalling fourth victory in the race after getting back in the winning groove in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot.
But while he has the starring role, the supporting cast couldn’t be much stronger, with Mark Johnston’s Group 1 winner Subjectivist, last year’s Derby hero Serpentine and Yorkshire Cup winner Spanish Mission all adding spice.
Then there’s my lad Trueshan, who deserves to be among the market leaders after what he achieved at this track in the autumn. Since then he’s run in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes at Chester, which proved an ideal preparation.
I couldn’t have been happier with him on the Roodee, where he finished less than a length behind multiple Group 1 winner Japan over a trip short of his best, despite giving him 5lb.
His trainer Alan King is delighted with his progress and both of us are convinced he will get the 2m4f trip. A bigger question is the fast ground, but I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed that the forecast storms arrive in time, as Trueshan is at his absolute best with some give underfoot.
He proved that when storming home in soft ground on Champions’ Day, when Stradivarius and Spanish Mission finished well behind him, and there’s no doubt that easier ground would significantly boost our hopes of spoiling the party.
I don’t think there’s a particular key to beating Stradivarius. Alan will discuss the race with me nearer the time but from our wide draw in stall 10 I’ll hope to jump well and sit in mid-division, not too far behind the leaders. The best horse on the day will win and there’s no reason why that can’t be Trueshan – especially if the rain arrives!
Hannon filly has Ribblesdale claims
ARISTIA is among the outsiders for the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes (3.40) at Royal Ascot but has shown enough to suggest she can run a big race for my old boss Richard Hannon and the team, despite her lack of experience.
A big, scopey filly, she won her maiden at Newbury at the first time of asking back in April and took a big step forward when finishing third – and gaining valuable black type – in the Listed Fillies’ Trial there last month.
The way she stayed on that day, despite her greenness, suggests she will enjoy the extra quarter-mile in the Ribblesdale. We’re nicely drawn in stall five and if the ground doesn’t prove too quick for her I’m hoping she can come home strongly.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Noon Star is clearly the one we all have to beat. I rode in the race she won so impressively at Wetherby in the spring and her second to Snowfall in the Musidora at York couldn’t have been franked in more spectacular fashion after Aidan O’Brien’s filly bolted up in the Oaks.
Speedy King can out-run big odds
The Group 2 Norfolk Stakes (2.30) at Royal Ascot takes some winning but my colt KING OF SPEED certainly lives up to his name and can run much better than his big odds suggest.
I’ve never ridden Robert Cowell’s son of Acclamation but I know plenty about him, as he finished third to my mount Barging Thru – a Windsor Castle Stakes runner – at Chelmsford City on debut and then turned the tables on him up at Redcar.
Robert has made his reputation with sprinters and wouldn’t be running this colt if he didn’t think he could be competitive. We’re nicely drawn in the middle of the pack, right between a couple of the more fancied runners, so don’t rule out a big performance.
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