Stradivarius ensured his successive victory with a dominant display in the Magners Rose Doncaster Cup.
John Gosden’s five-year-old has dominated the remaining division over the past couple of seasons – using back-to-back wins at the Yorkshire Cup, Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and also Lonsdale Cup watching him scoop the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million in both 2019 and 2018.
In the immediate wake of his latest triumph at York, relations suggested his next port of call could be following month’s Long Distance Cup at Ascot – he also won last season – but a late change of heart watched Gosden attract his charge into Town Moor.
Stradivarius had been the 1-9 favorite in the hands of frequent partner Frankie Dettori and his legion of fans had worries for the length of the two-and-a-quarter-mile competition.
Oisin Murphy heading outside to inject some speed in the race delivered on Andrew Balding’s Cleonte after being left front , and he was going great guns rounding the turn for home.
However, once popped the question the leader was reeled in by Stradivarius and kicked clear for a comfortable success.
Cleonte boxed to fill the spot, with the Willie Mullins-trained Max Dynamite – runner-up to stablemate Thomas Hobson in last year’s renewal – back in third.
Gosden said:”Frankie was right to move ahead, and then Oisin determined he wished to earn a rush of it.
“He is a beautiful horse. I’d no intention of coming , but he had been so new, rearing up and crying all of the time, so that I thought we’d come and win the Doncaster Cup – it had not been the strategy, but Mr (Bjorn) Nielsen was very good about it.
“He is a gorgeous horse to train, but he was getting so playful at home – this is a five-day entrance so I had to put him in. Should you wait around for Champions Day plus it is thick, he won’t be running.”
He proceeded:”I think Mr Nielsen’s big strategy, if the horse is happy and well, is to go to Ascot next year. He would really like to win three Gold Cups. We’ll try to do this if we could and we’ll see what’s out of this Leger as challengers.
“He has had a much easier period this year than last. The race in the Gold Cup (last year) was mighty hard and he was a weary horse by the Lonsdale. He’s a horse that is really fresh nonetheless this year.
“I think the next year’s it is Ascot Gold Cup and likely Goodwood Cup, and then we may be concerned about other options.
“I think he would like to get a Sagaro, Yorkshire Cup – go that path again when the horse is in terrific arrangement, then regroup, that could be a bit of fun.”
Dettori – in flying dismount type – stated :”That is the simplest he’s won – he is so good to ride, he relaxes, he quickens. Brilliant. We expected it to be like that, although it turned out to be a messy race.
“I attempted to create the running, but as we got into the bend he was looking at everything. Oisin was running eager and I got a tow off him. We moved slow, so we sprinted the previous three and a half (furlongs).
“He has one more gear than the remainder, so that I used Oisin as a reference stage – that I gave him three or four lengths begin because I knew once I handed him he believes he has done .
“I used Oisin as tow into the furlong marker and said,’come on let’s put the race ‘, and he won very easily.”
Before signing off, Gosden had a note on his other stable star, the Enable, who’s being prepared for an effort on a record-breaking third victory in the Prix de Triomphe.
He said:”She’s in amazing form. I could not be more pleased with her. She’s in very good nick and we are going to build her up to the Arc now.”
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