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At The Races

Hollie Doyle

Sky Sports Racing’s ambassador gets back aboard star stayer Trueshan on Saturday at ParisLongchamp, while also picking up a couple of interesting outside rides.
Thursday 28 September 2023
Everything looks in place for another big performance from my star stayer TRUESHAN in Saturday’s Group 1 Prix du Cadran at ParisLongchamp (1.33) – and it’s live on Sky Sports Racing.
I missed out through suspension when he won the 2m4f feature two years ago in the capable hands of James Doyle, so it would be nice to finally add this great race to my own CV.  
The soft conditions in Paris will be ideal for Alan King’s seven-year-old, who loves to get his toe into the ground and couldn’t be in better form after landing the Doncaster Cup on his first start since that successful wind surgery.  
I’m surprised to see that only five stand their ground against him, including Emily Dickinson. Aidan O’Brien’s filly looks the main danger after running so well in the Gold Cup at Ascot over the Cadran trip and in the Goodwood Cup over 2m last time. Like Trueshan, she thrives in soft ground.
Two years ago he returned to Ascot to win his second British Champions Long Distance Cup – a race he landed for the third time last year. Whether he heads back to Champions Day remains to be seen and that plan will no doubt be up for discussion after Saturday.  
The Group 2 Prix Dollar at Longchamp on Saturday (4.43) looks an ideal target for William Knight’s four-year-old CHECKANDCHALLENGE.  
He’s a talented if not straightforward colt who ran well at this level in the York Stakes last month and may benefit from the fitting of blinkers for the first time, having sported a first-time visor last time out, and running well.  
A Group 3 winner in France over 1m last year, he proved himself in soft ground when third in the Group 2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein on Arc weekend last year and remains unexposed at this 10f trip.  
French-based Brit Andrew Hollinshead has booked me for his GET SET in the heritage handicap, the Qatar Prix de La Place Des Vosges (2.15).  
This reliable six-year-old appears to have the right credentials for the 12.5f contest having won over a shorter trip at the Paris track in June.  
He’s evidently trip-versatile and acts well in soft ground but we will have to overcome a tricky draw in stall 16 to be involved at the business end of the race.  
Watch every race from Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend at ParisLongchamp on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 519) on Saturday 30th September and Sunday 1st October.
My heart says British raider Hukum will claim the glory in Sunday’s mouth-watering Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (3.05) – live on Sky Sports Racing – but the draw hasn’t been kind to Owen Burrows’s stable star.  
It would be wonderful to see Sheikha Hissa Hamdan Al Maktoum round off another great season by winning Europe’s greatest race with her brilliant King George hero. However, being posted out in stall 14 will be a challenge to Jim Crowley who will hopefully get enough luck in running to play a part in the finish.  
The draw’s been kinder to Aidan O’Brien’s St Leger winner CONTINUOUS  who was undeniably impressive at Doncaster and could provide all the answers. It’s a quick turn-around but the fact that he’s been supplemented by the Coolmore operation speaks volumes.  
I’m off to ride in Japan again later this year and would love to see their representative Through Seven Seas go well for trainer Tomohito Ozeki and owners Carrot Farm. His second to the Dubai Sheema Classic winner Equinox in Group 1 company in Japan in June looks solid form.  
Ralph Beckett’s Westover, who was runner-up in that Meydan contest, also carries significant hopes for the British challenge and it’s great to see Rob Hornby again entrusted with the task of turning round that King George form with Hukum.  
My trip to Cologne last Sunday turned out to be a success, mainly thanks to Amy Murphy’s filly GEOLOGIST winning the Listed Winterkonigin Trial.
She made just about all the running in the 7.5f feature and was brave when she had to be to get the better of her rivals in a three-way finish.  
I was third on her in a Group 3 in Deauville in July after Tom (Marquand) won a novice on her at Ripon. She subsequently finished second in a valuable sales race at Newmarket so certainly deserved this.  
WOBWOBWOB  will be targeted at the Ayr Gold Cup next season after we won the Silver version at the Scottish track last Saturday.
Ontoawinner’s gelding posted a personal best to take the 6f handicap and set himself up for a return to the Western Meeting next year when his trainer Adrian Keatley says the Gold Cup itself will be on his agenda.  
It was a near miss in the big one, however, on Archie Watson’s enigmatic Albasheer who finished less than a length behind the winner in fourth. A quirky sprinter, he didn’t travel at all in the first part of the race but flew home at the death and can win a big pot when he’s in the mood.  

I was thrilled with Jessie Harrington’s filly who finished second for me in a Group 1 in Germany last weekend. It was a first try at 12f for Moyglare Stud Farms’ daughter of Muhaarar who saw it out well and definitely has what it takes to strike at the highest level in Europe over this new distance.