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Trueshan heads 48 entries in QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup

3 Aug 2021

Recent Group 1 winner Trueshan heads an initial field of 48 for the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup

John Gosden QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup

Last year’s runaway winner Trueshan heads an entry of 48 for the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup, a race which has also attracted 2018 winner Stradivarius, last year’s Derby winner Serpentine, this year’s Irish Derby runner-up Lone Eagle, 2020 Melbourne Cup winner Twilight Payment, and dual Irish St Leger winner Search For A Song, who chased home Trueshan last year.

Trueshan, whose success in the opening race last October initiated a memorable big race double for rider Hollie Doyle, missed the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on account of fast ground. But gained a well deserved first Group 1 success and confirmed himself a top-class Cup horse at last week’s Qatar Goodwood Festival, when beating Away He Goes with complete authority under ideal conditions in the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup.

Doyle recalled: “Winning on Trueshan and Glen Shiel on QIPCO British Champions Day last year was just incredible, definitely my best day in racing, and when Tom (Marquand) went and won two races later on in the day it was just unreal.

“We knew from what Trueshan did that day that he was capable of winning a Group 1, and it was brilliant when he got the job done so impressively again in the Goodwood Cup. Trueshan will hopefully be back again for the Long Distance Cup, and if it’s the same sort of ground you would think he’ll take some beating.”

King is becoming a regular in the winners’ enclosure on Flat racing’s biggest occasions, but Trueshan’s Goodwood win was his first in a Group 1. He has had one eye all year on a return to Ascot for QIPCO British Champions Day and said: “The Long Distance Cup will be a big target for him. He is in the Lonsdale Cup in a few weeks. The Prix du Cadran is probably his race in the autumn but everything is ground dependent.”

GOSDEN AIMS STAR STRADIVARIUS AT ASCOT SHOWPIECE

Stradivarius finished down the field for the first time in last year’s QIPCO Long Distance Cup, but he had been a key player three times previously, finishing third as a three-year-old in 2017, beating Thomas Hobson the following year, and going down by just a nose to Kew Gardens in 2019. The race is very much on his agenda once more and he is set to run in it for the fifth consecutive year.

John Gosden said: “It was very disappointing for everyone that Stradivarius was unable to run in the Goodwood Cup last week after that torrential rain turned the ground heavy, but we made the mistake of running him in similar ground twice last year and we don’t intend to make the same mistake again.

John Gosden, trainer of Stradivarius © focusonracing.com

“He’s going to York for the Lonsdale, and then we’ll very much be looking again at Champions Day, where he’s won before and was beaten only a nose on the inner track in 2019.”

Tony Mullins is keen to run last year’s Prix Du Cadran winner Princess Zoe, who was an excellent second to the currently sidelined Subjectivist in the Gold Cup.

He said: “Champions Day is not just an afterthought, it’s very much on our minds. We are only starting to wind her up again now for York, then there are five weeks to the Cadran and two weeks back to Ascot. We might very well go to Ascot and skip the Cadran. 

“She doesn’t need soft ground to produce her best. It’s how long she would last running on quicker going as she has a conformation that doesn’t lend itself to regular running on it, but in general Champions Day has had an ease in the ground.”

Search For A Song represents Dermot Weld, who won the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup with Rite Of Passage in 2012 and Forgotten Rules in 2014. Weld said: “Search For A Song is very well, but she is being aimed first at a third Irish St Leger. I’ve made provisional entries for her in both the Long Distance Cup and the Fillies & Mares, and we’ll have to see nearer the time.”

Big Five is a fascinating possible contender from France. Trainer Francis Graffard said: “Big Five is only four years old but is five out of five. He had a small injury after his last win in a Listed race at Chantilly but is back in full training now. I don’t know if he will go or stay here for the Royal Oak, but he is definitely a nice stayer in the making.”

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FULL LIST OF ENTRIES

Alounak (FR), Amhran Na Bhfiann (IRE), Barbados (IRE), Baron Samedi (GB), Berkshire Rocco (FR), Big Five (GB), Calling The Wind (IRE), Eagles By Day (IRE), Emperor of The Sun (IRE), Fujaira Prince (IRE), Hamish (GB),Japan (GB), Live Your Dream (IRE), Master of Reality (IRE), M C Muldoon (IRE), Mekong (GB), Micro Manage (IRE), Morando (FR), Nayef Road (IRE), Nicholas T (GB), Ranch Hand (GB), Red Verdon (USA), Roberto Escobarr (IRE), Saldier (FR), Serpentine (IRE), Stag Horn (GB), Stradivarius (IRE), Stratum (GB), Trueshan (FR), Twilight Payment (IRE), Untold Story (GB), Lismore (IRE), Passion (IRE), Princess Zoe (GER), Search For A Song (IRE), Tribal Craft (GB), Yaxeni (FR), Benaud (IRE), Fernando Vichi (IRE), Interpretation (IRE), King of The Castle (IRE), Lone Eagle (IRE), Manobo (IRE), Mojo Star (IRE), Sir Lucan (IRE), Tashkhan (IRE), The Mediterranean (IRE), Wordsworth (IRE)