Every time you think Stradivarius has passed his peak, he comes storming back with another victory. After three straight defeats to finish the 2020 season, many started to write off the John and Thady Gosden-trained horse, but he came roaring back with a win at Ascot to kick off the 2021 campaign, and he has won on three out of four outings this year.
The latest of these came in the Doncaster Cup, which is a favourite for Stradivarius and regular jockey Frankie Dettori. It is the second time they have won the race together following a previous triumph in 2019 and saw Stradivarius win by an even greater margin, two and a half lengths clear of second-place Alerta Roja.
It was a classic performance. For the majority of the race, Dettori was comfortable tucked away in fourth position, simply keeping pace and waiting for the chance to pounce. That chance came on the home straight, and all it took was a simple change of gear, as Stradivarius kicked into the winning mode which comes so naturally to him.
“He’s a wonderful horse,” trainer Gosden said after the race. “He’s been great at home. He’s enjoyed all his training. He loves his racing and likes coming racing. He’s a phenomenon. I had no qualms about coming here. He senses a horse coming to him and plays cat and mouse with them now.
“I couldn’t have been more thrilled with him. I’m sorry the other horse (Trueshan) didn’t run but maybe we’ll meet one day. He’s had a great season. He’s won three out of four. Frankie’s ride in the Gold Cup wasn’t his greatest.
The winner was mighty impressive and the sad thing for me in the year is that we couldn’t run at Goodwood, because he adores Goodwood.”
The racing community is fast running out of superlatives to describe Stradivarius. In 30 starts in his career, he has registered 19 victories, which is a stunning return. Pair that with a jockey of legendary status like Dettori, and you have a horse and rider combo for the ages. Doncaster is clearly a course that suits them both, and this latest win is evidence that Stradivarius still has plenty to give.
The seven-year-old has an incredible CV, and as long as he is active, he will get plenty of attention on the best horse racing betting sites. Whether it’s the presence of the ageless Dettori or the fact that he is simply a sensational performer on his day, Stradivarius is one of the most popular racehorses in the sport at the moment.
According to Gosden, Stradivarius will next head either to the Prix du Cadran or the British Champions Long Distance Cup to finish the season. British Champions Day is the event which brings the flat racing season to a close, and the Ascot crowd would love to see Stradivarius. That said, he struggled there last season, and the soft ground conditions meant he came home in second last.
Heading to France is an option, but Stradivarius also struggled there last year, and it’s clear that autumn conditions don’t always suit him. Wherever he crops up next, Stradivarius’ legend status will never be dimmed, and there’s bound to be plenty more stunning displays in the future.