Stradivarius secured his successive victory from the Magners Rose Doncaster Cup with a dominant display.
John Gosden’s five-year-old has completely dominated the staying division over the past couple of seasons – along including back-to-back wins in Goodwood Cup, Gold Cup, the Yorkshire Cup and Lonsdale Cup watching him spade the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million in 2019 and 2018.
In the immediate wake of his most recent victory at York, connections suggested his second port of call would be next month’s Long Distance Cup at Ascot – that he also won last season – but that a late change of heart watched Gosden fetch his bill into Town Moor.
With foe Dee Ex Bee a late withdrawal, Stradivarius was the favourite in spouse Frankie Dettori’s hands and his legion of fans had worries for the duration of this two-and-a-quarter-mile contest.
After being abandoned front, Oisin Murphy heading outside to inject some pace in the race delivered on Andrew Balding’s Cleonte , and he was going great guns rounding the turn for home.
After popped the question from Dettori, Stradivarius swiftly reeled in the leader and became apparent for a comfortable one-and-three-quarter-length victory.
Cleonte boxed on to meet with the runner-up spot, using all 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 forward, then Oisin decided he wished to make a rush of it.
“He’s a lovely horse. I’d no intention of arriving here, but he had been so new, rearing up and crying all the time, so I thought we’d come back and win the Doncaster Cup – it hadn’t been the program, however Mr (Bjorn) Nielsen was very good about that.
“He’s a stunning horse to train, however he was getting so playful at home – this was a five-day entry so that I had to put him . If you wait for Champions Day and it’s heavy, he won’t be operating.”
He proceeded:”I believe Mr Nielsen’s huge strategy, if the horse is well and happy, is to visit Ascot next year. He would love to win three Gold Cups. We are going to try to do that if we can and we will see what’s from this Leger as potential challengers.
“He has had a much simpler period this year compared to last. The race at the Gold Cup (a year ago ) was mighty hard and he was a tired horse by the Lonsdale. He’s a horse that is very fresh nonetheless.
“I believe the next year’s it’s Ascot Gold Cup and likely Goodwood Cup, and then we might worry about other choices.
“I think he’d like to get a Sagaro, Yorkshire Cup – go this route again if the horse is in amazing sequence, then regroup, which could be a bit of fun”
Dettori – in flying dismount kind – stated :”That is the easiest he is won – he’s so great to ride,” he relaxes, he quickens. Brilliant. We hoped it to be similar to that, although it turned out to be a race that is sloppy.
“I tried to make the running, but because we got into the bend he was looking at all. Oisin was operating eager and I got a tow him off. We went slow, we sprinted the last three and a half (furlongs).
“He has one more gear than the remainder, so that I used Oisin as a benchmark stage – I gave him three or four spans start because I knew once I passed him he believes he’s done enough.
“I used Oisin as tow into the furlong marker and ‘come on let us put the race ‘, and he won very easily.”
Gosden had a sentence on his other secure celebrity, the mighty Enable, who’s being ready for an effort on a third victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, before signing off.
He explained:”She’s in amazing form. I couldn’t be more pleased with her. She’s in really good nick and we’ll build her around the Arc now.”