Stradivarius Breaks Another Record for the Gosden Dettori Duo
At Horse View UK we do not necessarily make a comment on one particular race, but the exception has to be made on this occasion to commend a champion Stradivarius, the long distance specialist winning the Goodwood Cup for a record fourth time. The only horse in history to win four times since its first running in 1812. The Goodwood Cup is one of the oldest races in the world.
The first version of The Goodwood Cup was run is 1808 and was run over three miles. In 1812, the race distance was cut to two miles five furlongs It has always been a race to attract plenty of international runners over the years. In the mid 19th century, France won the race with Jouvence,(1853) Flageolet (1873) and Monarque (1857) and the United States supplied the winner Starke. Kincsem was an Hungarian filly who won in 1878, one of the great filly’s 54 wins. The first back to back winner was Count Schronberg in 1896 and 97. Brown Jack, who won the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot seven times could only win this race once in 1930. We had to wait until 1979 before we saw another horse able to win the race on two occasions, Le Moss, trained by the legendary Henry Cecil. Le Moss dually obliged for a second time in 1980. In 1995, Double Trigger, trained by Mark Johnston, won the first of his three wins, and until today held the record for the horse winning the most times.
The race has always enjoyed Group status, mainly as a Group 2 or 3, but in 2017, the race acclaimed the status of Group 1. In 1990, the race distance was cut by another furlong but the following year the distance was changed yet again to its current 2 miles.
In less than a week, the John Gosden Frankie Dettori duo were attempting to break the record books. Last Saturday, Enable re-wrote the books so far as The King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes were concerned and today was The ‘Strads’ turn. There were seven runners going to post including the much feared Santiago for Aiden O’Brien, who has recently won the Irish Derby. As a 3 year old, Santiago was being allowed a massive 15 pounds in weight against Stradivarius. The other runners were 4 years old.
The race started with a relatively slow pace with Frankie tracking Santiago all the way in mid division and the Mark Johnston trained Nayef Road taking the lead. This was a race that was going to have a very level pace until the last three furlongs, when it would turn into a sprint.
As they turned for the straight, Frankie Dettori found that he was being badly boxed in and was unable to get any sort of run. Santiago went for home and briefly took the lead two out, but somehow, Frankie managed to get a run for Stradivarius who had to blitz it to the end winning a hard run contest for the fourth time – a record. Nayef Road was second with the 3 year old putting up a gallant effort to be third. It was a close run thing, but the horse is such a champion, he was not going to be denied!
John Gosden said after the race, that as there was no ‘stayers triple crown’ this year due to the necessary changes to the racing calendar, Stradivarius would now join his stable mate and other history maker Enable, in the Arc. What a contest The Prix d’Arc de Triomphe is shaping up to be this year!!