Stradivarius, trained by John Gosden, claimed his second Qatar Goodwood Cup in as many years on Tuesday as he beat rival Torcedor by half a length to secure victory. Stradivarius had started the race as the odds-on favourite and was heavily fancied by most to make it back to back Goodwood Cup success, even though Frankie Dettori was unable to take the ride due to suspension. Andrea Atzeni took his Dettori’s ride and did exactly what was required to win the race.
The race started as expected, with Torcedor getting off to a great start with Colm O’Donoghue on board. They wanted to set the pace early and did that, but they couldn’t shake off heavy favourite Stradvarius, who was never far behind, with Atzeni holding position well and stalking his rival until the final furlong where he let the horse go to grab the lead with only one furlong remaining.
Stradivarius had won the Gold Cup at Ascot last month and was all set to make it two cup wins from two in as many months but Torcedor hit back as he attempted to get back in front to get one over on his rival. Stradivarius, however, was having none of it and rallied himself to take the lead and went on to secure victory by half a length to the delight of the spectators in attendance and all the Stradivarius connections.
This victory could yet prove even more successful for those connections as they are now in line for a £1 million bonus should Stradivarius win the Lonsdale Cup at the Ebor Festival next month at York. By doing so, the four-year-old would prove himself to be the best stayer around right now, and after winning the Yorkshire Cup in May, he’s more than capable of securing victory at York and that nice little windfall too. This is the common consensus amongst most bookmakers and Betpoint has seen a lot of support for the four year old.
Atzeni, who stepped into the breach in Dettori’s absence, hadn’t ridden Stradivarius since guiding him to victory in the same race 12 months ago and after his latest ride he was pleased to see the horse has improved during that time. Atzeni said, “He’s a different horse compared to last year. I remember when I won on him last year he was quite narrow, but he’s done a tremendous job as a four-year-old.”
On takin the ride in Dettori’s absence Atzeni said, “I’m in a lucky position to be here. Unfortunately, Frankie is suspended, but he’s been very helpful, and these big days are what it’s all about.” Both Atzeni and Dettori will be delighted at Stradivarius’ latest victory and it’s expected that the latter will take the ride in York, ready to do battle for the Lonsdale Cup. Having won the first three legs of the Stayer’s Million, you wouldn’t back against Stradivarius making it four out of four with Dettori on board in what would be a great achievement for everyone involved, and all connections too.