Doncaster: Can Coltrane Do It Again In The Doncaster Cup?

Trueshan | Scoop Dyga


Causing an upset when edging out Trueshan (Fr) (Planteur {Ire}) in a thriller for last year's G2 Doncaster Cup, one of the staying division's leaders Coltrane (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) returns to Town Moor for another encounter with his nemesis on Friday. Having won Ascot's G3 Sagaro S. and the G2 Lonsdale Cup at York and been runner-up in the G1 Gold Cup in the interim, Mick and Janice Mariscotti's stalwart is better than ever at the age of six and is the one with the target on his back this time.

Andrew Balding holds Coltrane close to his heart and is relishing another battle royal. “The great thing about him is he seems to be effective on any ground and in any sort of style of race, which is a big help for these stayers,” he said. “He obviously won the race last year, but he does carry a penalty this year which makes life a lot tougher. It is not a straightforward task, but the horse is really well and he seems to thrive on his racing.”

Trueshan has been absent since finishing fourth behind Coltrane in the Sagaro in May and has undergone a wind operation, so the star stayer of 2021 has questions to answer here. Normandie Stud's progressive Ebor H. runner-up Sweet William (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) represents the Gosdens, who have a line on these through their Gold Cup hero Courage Mon Ami (GB) (Frankel {GB}).

“We think there's more improvement to come and we think he might make up into an Ascot Gold Cup and Goodwood Cup type of horse next year,” jockey Robert Havlin said of the Normandie Stud homebred. “Since we put blinkers on he's been ultra consistent. He's won over two miles and the Ebor was obviously a drop back in trip. He gets the trip well so there are a lot of positives, especially after all the rain. He doesn't need soft ground, but he handles it very well.”


Inquisitively Takes On Big Evs In The Flying Childers

Also at Doncaster on Friday is the G2 Carlsberg Danish Pilsner Flying Childers S., where Wee Sean Gan's Listed Roses S. scorer Inquisitively (GB) (Ten Sovereigns {Ire}) looks to turn the tables on Big Evs (Ire) (Blue Point {Ire}) after their prior meeting in Royal Ascot's Listed Windsor Castle S. Trainer Kevin Philippart De Foy is concerned about the slower ground for Inquisitively, however. “The ground would be a question mark, he won on fast ground at York and so there is a question mark over soft conditions,” he said.  “The horse won well at York and I think the course will suit him. It's a very flat, straight course and very straightforward. He has been in good form since his race at York, I think he took a step forward from that race. He's very straightforward and professional, I don't think anything will be an issue other than the question over the ground.”


All Nine Stand Their Ground For St Leger

There were no withdrawals from Saturday's G1 Betfred St Leger at Doncaster on Thursday, with the major news concerning the decision of Frankie Dettori to ride Juddmonte's Arrest (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) ahead of the fellow Gosden representative Gregory (GB) (Golden Horn {GB}). That leaves Kieran Shoemark with the task of steering the latter, who captured the G2 Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot for Wathnan Racing.

“I'm very happy with my mount in the race and wouldn't swap him,” Shoemark said. “As soon as Frankie made up his mind I found out. He's a high-profile horse in a high-profile race. He's one of the market leaders and to be riding a favourite in a British Classic is hugely exciting. It's where I want to be, so it's a privilege not pressure and I look forward to it.”

Also representing the Gosdens is Qatar Racing's Melrose H. winner Middle Earth (GB) (Roaring Lion), while The King & The Queen's G3 Gordon S.-winning TDN Rising Star Desert Hero (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) and Ballydoyle number one Continuous (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}), who catapulted himself into the picture with his impressive G2 Great Voltigeur S. success, are other notables.


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