Superstar stayer Trueshan pulled off the unthinkable at the weekend when giving away close to a stone and a half to the field and going on to win the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.
Having won the Group Two Long Distance Cup on British Champions Day in 2020 at the end of the campaign it firmly put Trueshan in the mix for a go at the staying races last season.
His dominant display over two miles on soft ground at Ascot in October of that year saw him go off second favourite for the Ormonde Stakes at Chester but found the trip and course too taxing for speed to get the better of Japan.
Missing the Gold Cup due to the underfoot conditions, he instead tried to shoulder top weight in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle, but a rating of 118 left him giving away too much weight to the rest of the field.
Since then he was waited on for his perfect conditions and got that in the Group Two Goodwood Cup where he went on to rout a good field of stayers by close to four lengths.
Skipping the Doncaster Cup he headed into the Group One Prix Du Cadran in France and getting his ideal trip and ground he went to battle with Stradivarius and beat him by close to five lengths.
His final race of last season saw him winning back to back renewals of the Group Two Long Distance Cup at Ascot cementing himself as the best stayer throughout the season.
Back for another campaign this term he started off at Nottingham in the Listed Flight Stakes and won impressively with the second since coming out and winning a nice event.
Hoping to get his ground in the Gold Cup, it was a case of lightning striking twice and King swerved that and sent him into the Northumberland Plate.
Looking to be used as more of a prep run for the Goodwood Cup he gave heaps of weights away to score late on and now his handler says it is all systems go for the Group One Goodwood Cup, where he is looking to defend his title.
(Credit ATR) "We were totally delighted and surprised as well,” said the Barbury Castle handler on Sunday.
“It was a huge ask but we just needed to get a run in to him, it was a marvellous performance.
“It’s very rare on the Flat for horses to carry this amount of weight off this rating but I’d no other option, I had to run him somewhere. At least with Newcastle we knew we could get there and find suitable ground.
“He’s great, he’s 100 per cent this morning which is the main thing. Onwards and upwards hopefully.”
King added: “We’re training him for Goodwood, (but) as we all keep saying, it depends on what the English weather does.
“At least now he’s had a run, I can leave him alone for a couple of weeks and then build him back up towards the end of July. It’s taken a bit of pressure off in that respect.”