Stradivarius shines in Royal Ascot Gold Cup victory


Just as everyone had got their breath back after a second brilliant day of racing at Royal Ascot 2019, along comes Gold Cup day and the latest renewal of this Group 1 race didn’t disappoint.

Stradivarius was trading as the 5/4 favourite leading up to the race, with the John Gosden-trained charge having impressed during his career to date and the Frankie-Dettori colt was clearly regarded as the one to beat.

However, there was stern opposition in the form of Cross Counter and Dee Ex Bee, with the former saddled by Charlie Appleby and he was trading at odds of 7/2, while Dee Ex Bee carried the hopes of trainer Mark Johnston and this horse was trading at 11/2.

The Gold Cup is a test of stamina and Stradivarius didn’t disappoint, with the horse firmly in the running and getting the better of his rivals over two miles and four furlongs.

Jockey Frankie Dettori had a day to remember after riding the first four winners and he was delighted with the performance of a horse who continues to be unbeatable over this distance.

Dettori said: "What a horse, he got me out of trouble. He's the horse for the big occasion and people love him. It's great for everyone connected with the horse - every time he runs he delivers. I was half-thinking Capri was going best, then I changed my mind and followed Wayne Lordan, then I got the split and it was all over.

“He doesn't know how to lose and all I have to do is get him among the others and he does the rest. He is fantastic horse and he does the rest - and what a trainer.”

Trainer John Gosden said: "When he gets into the final at Wimbledon he (Dettori) raises it to another level. He rode a beautiful race. He was held in there by Capri, then he saw the light and Capri went for his run and Frankie managed to wriggle through and it was noted in commentary that he was in a rather tricky position.

"He did the clever thing he was drawn two and thought, 'I will save ground all the way and wait for the gap'. It was a long wait, but the horse is very classy. It is not his favourite ground, as he is a much better horse on top of the ground, but he has just shown his style and he can quicken on that ground. Full marks to a remarkable horse and a sometimes remarkable, mercurial jockey.”

Earlier that day, there was the Norfolk Stakes being run and Sunday Sovereign was all the rage, with this race for two-year-olds often throwing up a few surprise results considering how green many of the horses are.

However, it was second favourite Aali who was able to win the opening race, with Frankie Dettori continuing to enjoy a fantastic Royal Ascot 2019 and the Italian gave his mount a brilliant ride from the moment that the gates opened.

There was no sign of favourite Sunday Sovereign who ran an underwhelming race, with Ventura Rebel running on gamely to finish second at 16/1, while Dubai Station was the third placed horse for the each-way money at 14/1.

The Hampton Court Stakes followed as the second race on Day Three of Royal Ascot 2019 and this one mile two furlong encounter was a stamina-sapping race considering that the ground was officially regarded as soft following the rainfall on Tuesday and Wednesday.

It was a wide open betting contest, with Fox Chairman opening as the 7/2 favourite, while Cape of Good Hope was predictably well-backed considering it was that classic trainer and jockey combination of Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore.

The Gold Cup took place at 4.20 at Royal Ascot and this two mile and four furlongs encounter is always one of the highlights of the meeting, with Stradivarius having previously impressed when winning the Yorkshire Cup Stakes in May.

Previously to this, the five-year-old had won the Long Distance Cup at Ascot in October.