Stradivarius tuning up for Stayers’ Million and QIPCO British Champions Day

Dettori after winning Cup on Stradivarius

Frankie Dettori after winning the Goodwood Cup on Stradivarius. (Pic: courtesy of Goodwood racecourse).

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STRADIVARIUS will this season contest the same five races as last year when he won the four events that comprise the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million and QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup.

The John Gosden-trained five-year-old this term has repeated his victories in the Matchbook Yorkshire Cup, Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and Qatar Goodwood Cup. The son of Sea The Stars will win the series for the second time if successful in the Lonsdale Cup at York on August 23.

Stradivarius appears set to complete the season in the long-distance event on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on October 19, Gosden revealed this week.

“Stradivarius has been in good form since Goodwood. The Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Lonsdale Cup is coming so we’ll freshen him up and then we’ll look at the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup again – I’m all pro for running on QIPCO British Champions Day,” said Gosden who won three of the six races on Champions Day last year.

“Stradivarius does look after himself and that’s one of the reasons he’s been able to hold this level of form. He does what he has to do and no more.

“He’s not an old boy, he’s only five. I was always told a flat racehorse is at its peak – its zenith – at five.”

Gosden added: “QIPCO British Champions Day has gained enormously in its significance of bringing the season to a great crescendo.

“The quality of horses running in the races speaks for itself. It’s important to all the owners, trainers and jockeys to have a day like QIPCO British Champions Day otherwise we slightly give way to Ireland and France when we’ve held, in a sense, the most important races throughout the year.

“It’s essential we have a Champions Day of that gravitas which has now gained from the first year when Frankel was there winning.

“Last year for all of us and our staff, it was the crowning moment of what was a great year. If we come back and have one winner this year we’ll have done well.

“You don’t normally expect to have a winner on QIPCO British Champions Day let alone a treble.”

Meanwhile Mark Johnston – trainer of Dee Ex Bee who was second to Stradivarius in both the Gold Cup and the Qatar Goodwood Cup – has not ruled out a third clash with Stradivarius this season.

“We were disappointed to come second with Dee Ex Bee in the Goodwood Cup but you can’t be disappointed with the horse,” Johnston said. “He’s doing everything bar winning. The QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup is one of a few options.”

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