The leading stayer Stradivarius is set for his final run of the season on British Champions Day at Ascot where he is looking to round off another year of being unbeaten in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup.
John Gosden's stable star is unbeaten in his last nine races and was last seen having a challenger pass him back in October 2017 on British Champions Day but the five year old stayer is looking to keep his winning run going.
Stradivarius in the last two seasons has scooped the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million and was sure not be seen again until Ascot where he would round off his season in style but the horse has came out of the Lonsdale Cup at York in fine fettle and headed to Town Moor for the Doncaster Cup where again he won with ease.
The horse of a lifetime is now said to be right on track ahead of his run in the Group Two contest where he is looking to extend his unbeaten run to 11 races before he will be put away for another season in which he will return in 2020.
(Credit At The Races) His owner and breeder Bjorn Nielsen said: “John tells me that Stradivarius is full of himself and ready to go. I’ve noticed they have changed the time of his race from the first to the third – they don’t want people to be having their lunch when he runs!
“Coming into this season John told me the horse had improved a lot strength-wise from four to five, much more so than he did between three and four.
“That’s been borne out as he’s won his races fairly handily. First time out he was a little bit rusty; in the Gold Cup he was on the bridle turning in and won comfortably.
“At Goodwood he hunted the same horses and pretty much did the same thing in the Lonsdale. In the Doncaster Cup he had a 5lb penalty but was running against horses rated a fair amount below him.
“I know people were surprised to see him run at Doncaster, but it would never have been eight weeks between races had he not done so. Last year it would have been too much for him because he was tired after a flat run in the Lonsdale, but this year John said he was so full of himself that he needed to have another run.”
Stradivarius over the last two seasons has won 10 Qipco British Champions Series races (five each season) and if he does go onto to score in the Long Distance Cup he will become the first horse to win six in a single campaign.
“I read somewhere that he and Frankel are the only horses have won five Champions Series races in a year, which he’s done twice now. If he achieves the sixth on Saturday week he will be the only horse to have done it – and also be tied with Frankel for second. That would be some feat,” said Nielsen.
“He’s been well managed by a great trainer and will stay in training as long as he stays enthusiastic and sound. His target will be the Gold Cup with a run in the Sagaro or Yorkshire Cup as a prep beforehand.”