Goodwood hero Stradivarius aiming for piece of Royal Ascot history

Four-time Goodwood Cup hero Stradivarius is the star attraction on day three of Royal Ascot (Thursday) as he looks to create more history in the Gold Cup at the Royal meeting.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 6:00 pm
Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori after the super stayer's fourth Goodwood Cup win last year / Picture: Getty

Trained by John and Thady Gosden, Stradivarius has been the superstar of the staying division for a number of years and boasts a CV that includes four Goodwood Cups, three Gold Cups, two Lonsdale Cups and a Sagaro Stakes.

The seven-year-old son of Sea The Stars has amassed over £2.9 million in earnings and can surpass £3 million in career earnings if successful in Thursday’s feature at the Royal Meeting. Ridden by usual pilot Frankie Dettori, Stradivarius is aiming to emulate the mighty Yeats by landing a fourth successive Gold Cup and he is the 5/6 favourite with Betway to do so.

Stradivarius was a stunning 10-length winner of the 2020 renewal on soft ground, before going to Goodwood and recording a fourth Goodwood Cup success. Things failed to go to plan in three subsequent starts with connections targeting the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in which he finished seventh, before being over the top when beaten at Ascot on Champions Day.

However, the stayer looked back to his best when a smooth winner of the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot in April and with quick ground forecast all week at Royal Ascot, he looks very tough to beat.

Talking about Stradivarius in the build-up to this year’s event, Gosden said: “Stradivarius has won four Goodwood Cups, as well as Yorkshire Cups, Doncaster Cups, Lonsdale Cups. They put up the £1 million bonus two years running, thinking nobody would do it, and he knocked it off both years and finished the insurance company off. He has been remarkable. I think the toughest race of his life was actually his first Gold Cup against the great French stayer Vazirabad.

“He seems to love his training still and likes his racing. He can be very naughtily behaved beforehand and think he’s in the covering shed, but when it comes to the race, he gets down to the start and says ‘right, there’s a job to do, lets go’.

“He worked on the July Course last Tuesday and, touch wood, we are ready to go again. Frankie [Dettori] gave him a little canter this morning in front of the TV cameras and that all went smoothly.”

Stradivarius’ main rival looks to be Subjectivist (9/2) who landed the Dubai Gold Cup last time out and Trueshan (8/1), winner of the Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Champions Day. Spanish Mission (9/1) is another interesting runner for Betway ambassador Andrew Balding. He won the Yorkshire Cup last time out and his trainer said: “He has plenty of class and hopefully now he is another year older, he is just more mature and has a bit more acceleration. I think he has a great each-way chance.”

Away from the Gold Cup, Sussex-based jockey Jim Crowley has a number of interesting rides, headlined by Mohaafeth who is the 7/4 market leader in the Hampton Court Stakes having been withdrawn from the Derby on the day of the race. A three-time winner this term, he was very imprssive in the Listed Newmarket Stakes and drying could is a major plus for his hopes in this event.

Gold Cup betting 5/6 favourite Stradivarius; 11/2 Subjectivist; 8/1 Trueshan; 9/1 Spanish Mission; 12/1 Santiago, Serpentine; 14/1 Princess Zoe; 16/1 Bar

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