The superstar stayer Stradivarius has been entered into the Long Distance Cup on Saturday at Ascot, a race he finished second in a photo-finish in last season behind Kew Gardens and whatever happens at the weekend his trainer John Gosden has confirmed he will stay in training next season.
The six year old has been the poster boy for the UK staying division for the last three seasons landing 10 races in a row including winning a Weatherbys-sponsored £1million bonus in the last two seasons after landing the Yorkshire Cup, Ascot Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup at York.
As mentioned, Stradivarius lost his unbeaten record that stretched back to May 2018, when being pipped in a photo finish on Champions Day last year in the Long Distance Cup.
He came back this season and had a prep run in the Group One Coronation Cup where he ran to a good standard finishing third and gave him the run he needed to go and win his third Ascot Gold Cup.
After joining the likes of Double Trigger and Yeats after landing the Gold Cup, he headed to Glorious Goodwood seeking a fourth win in the Goodwood Cup, which he went on to win.
His owner/breeder Bjorn Nielsen always wanted a crack at the Arc and in preparation sent him to Longchamp over the course and distance in the Prix Foy, where he was a narrow second to Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck.
He then headed into the Longchamp feature and in a slowly ran renewal could only finish seventh with the way the race unfolded not playing to his strengths and going back to a staying trip on Saturday should see him back to his best.
(Credit Racing Post) He said: "If he had run in a regular Arc with a regular pace he wouldn't be running at Ascot, but the fact is that this year's contest was run rather like a Velodrome bicycle race.
"It was a bit like that in his trial over there too, so effectively he's gone to Longchamp twice and all he's had is a little sprint up the straight each time and not been involved in a testing race at all. Consequently, he's very fresh and well in himself at home and, after discussing it with Mr Nielsen, we've decided to let him take his chance.
"Whatever happens he'll have all winter to recover as he's to stay in training and won't run again until next May."