Stradivarius fine-tuned for hat-trick in Gold Cup at Royal Ascot

Stradivarius records his second victory in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. (Pic: Courtesy of Royal Ascot).

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STRADIVARIUS is a short-priced favourite to win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on Thursday and become only the third three-time winner of the stayers’ feature.

Stradivarius faces a maximum of seven rivals for this year’s Gold Cup and heads the betting at 4-7 to continue his superb record at the Royal Meeting where he has won for the past three successive years.

The six-year-old landed the Group 2 Queen’s Vase over a mile and six furlongs in 2017 before securing back to back victories in the Gold Cup (two miles and four furlongs) in 2018 and 2019.

If successful on Thursday Stradivarius, the winner of 13 of 20 starts and over £2.5million in prize money, will join exalted company as only Sagaro (1975, 1976 & 1977) and Yeats (2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009) have won the race, that was first run in 1807, more than twice.

The John Gosden-trained Stradivarius made his comeback at Newmarket on June 5 when third to Ghaiyyath in the Group 1 Hurworth Bloodstock Coronation Cup over one mile and four furlongs.

The effort that pleased jockey Frankie Dettori who is targeting his eighth win in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

“It was like running Mo Farah against Usain Bolt, it wasn’t fair!,” said Dettori who rode his 64th winner at the Royal meeting on Tuesday when winning the Ribblesdale Stakes on the Gosden-trained Frankly Darling.

“He’s been a two-mile plus horse for the last three years and, dropping in trip, I thought it was a good effort. It goes without saying that he’s the horse I’m most looking forward to riding at the meeting.

“He’s 2-1 on, won two Gold Cups, he’s one of the yard favourites, and he’s one of my favourites,” added Dettori, who was speaking to representatives of the British Champions Series.

At the time of writing (Wednesday) the going at going at Royal Ascot is Good on the Straight Course and Good, Good to Soft in places on the Round Course.

Thundery showers expected to develop in the afternoon (Wednesday) and rain showers are forecast for Gold Cup day on Thursday.

Horse Talk with Simon Jackson. Showcasing horse racing in London and the south east.