Can anyone stop Stradivarius in the Gold Cup?


The legendary feat of Yeats in the Ascot Gold Cup could well be matched later this month, as Stradivarius looks to emulate the record of four victories in the Group 1 race – in successive years.

John Gosden’s prized chestnut is understandably leading the way, when it comes to the latest Royal Ascot betting odds for the Gold Cup – the feature race on day three of the prestigious meeting.

After a lengthy break, in which Stradivarius had previously disappointed in the British Champions Long Distance Cup in October, as well as the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Prix Foy – both at Longchamp – he returned to the winning enclosure earlier this year.

In a thrilling race, the Sagaro Stakes, which acts as the trial for the upcoming Gold Cup, Stradivarius with iconic jockey, Frankie Dettori in the saddle, came from behind to lead with a furlong remaining – and held off the challenge of Ocean Wind to win by a length.

And Dettori was ecstatic, claiming that the dream is still alive:

“It’s sensational to ride a stayer with a turn of foot. When Yeats won four Gold Cups you thought no one would ever get near it and now the dream is still alive.”

Not only has he won the last three Gold Cups at Ascot, but Stradivarius is the last successful winner of the Stayers’ Triple Crown. Consisting of the Ascot centrepiece, the Goodwood Cup and the Doncaster Cup, the seven-year-old became the first horse since Double Trigger in 1995 to achieve the feat – in 2019.

A three-time Cartier Champion Stayer – can anyone get in his way?

He’s set for a rematch with Ocean Wind, although Roger Teal’s five-year-old can currently be found at odds of 16/1. Only a length separated the two last time out, and with the Gold Cup run over a slightly longer distance – an extra half a mile – it could prove to be another exciting battle. Despite not recording a victory so far this season, Teal fancies his chances:

“We’re looking forward to going back to Ascot with him and having a second crack at Stradivarius. It will be a good day if we can get there in one piece.”

Trueshan is another of the names up there to challenge. The Alan King gelding impressed at Ascot last year, in the Long Distance Cup, during the British Champions Series. It was a disappointing 12th place out of 13 entries for Stradivarius that day, with the ground reportedly too soft – according to Gosden. Trueshan was beaten by half a length at Chester last month, but the five-year-old has never raced further than the two-mile mark.

And don’t rule out Subjectivist. The Mark Johnston-trained colt showed promise as a minor, and has began this season just as he ended the last – with a win. He landed a Group 1 victory in the Prix Royal Oak at Longchamp, last October, and back in March, he won the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan. Can he stop Stradivarius in Ascot’s namesake?

Whether or not Dettori and all those connected with Stradivarius can emulate the feat of Yeats, stayers like him are rare and there’s no doubt his achievements to date will be remembered and celebrated for years to come.

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