Dee Ex Bee In Fine Form Ahead Of Stradivarius Rematch

Dee Ex Bee In Fine Form Ahead Of Stradivarius Rematch

De Ex Bee looks primed for his rematch with Gold Cup conqueror Stradivarius, when the two rematch in the Goodwood Cup on July 30.

His trainer Mark Johnston is willing to give it another go against John Gosden's star stayer, who himself will be seeking a third consecutive win in the feature Group One on the Sussex Downs.

Stamina appears to be the strongest attribute of last year's Derby runner-up, who just failed to make all in the Ladies Day feature at Royal Ascot.

However Johnston - who has won the race five times, is slightly worried about the drop back from two-and-a-half to two, which Stradivarius has proved oh so versatile at over the years.

(Credit: Racing Post) He said: "I've been very happy with him since Ascot and he's looking well, but we know it's a tall order and it's not ideal coming back in trip.

"The extra half a mile was a question going to Ascot, although he gave every impression he would be suited by it, and I think it was confirmed he got every inch of the trip and wouldn't mind a little bit more.

"There's absolutely nothing we can do about Stradivarius, but you never run away from one horse. I'm not sure if he has any chinks in his armour. If there is one, I suppose you could say Dee Ex Bee has got more stamina."

The 59-year-old trained Double Trigger back in the 1990's - the only horse in history to win the Goodwood Cup three times, which Stradivarius is hoping to achieve.

Johnston is not planning to get involved in a scrap with the son of Sea The Stars, who is once again just two races away from landing the Stayers Million for a second year in a row.

He continued: "We've learned more about Dee Ex Bee. Everyone thought he needed soft ground but he clearly doesn't – he just needs a test of stamina.

"It would suit us if it was more of a test of stamina but we've not got a pacemaker in there and, in my opinion, tactics don't win you races, they only get you beat."

Also representing the Middleham team is the exciting grey Visinari, who after winning his maiden at Newmarket impressively on debut, finished third in the July Stakes last week.

The two-year-old is likely to step-up a furlong for the Vintage Stakes at the Glorious meeting, which the Scotsman has won in the past with Mister Baileys and Shamardal. 

He said: "It's been a really important race for us over the years and Visinari is our number one two-year-old going to the meeting.

"I had the race in mind after he won his debut and then got greedy going for a Group 2. I was kicking myself at Newmarket last week as we should have stepped him up in trip.

"I hope he'll be a different horse over seven."